Indonesian Police Kill 3 Armed Suspects, Arrest 4

An elite anti-terrorism squad with a startling kill-to-capture ratio shot dead three men and arrested four others in western Indonesia, officials said Monday.

The shootings on Sumatra island by the U.S.-trained force were being investigated. Officials called the seven suspects armed and dangerous, but disagreed on what crimes the group allegedly committed.

Brig. Gen. Ketut Untung Yoga, deputy spokesman for the National Police, said they were suspected of involvement in a brazen armed robbery at a private bank last month in Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province.

But Maj. Gen. Oegroseno, the local police chief, was quoted as saying by the daily newspaper, Kompas, that the bodies had yet to be identified.

“We are not yet sure if they are linked to the bank robbery or to other terrorist activities,” he said, adding several automatic weapons were seized in the raids.

The anti-terror unit has been criticized in recent months for its high kill-to-capture ratio — with one suspect killed for every four arrested. The deaths raise human rights concerns and risk fueling Islamist propaganda and tarnishing what has been a highly praised anti-terrorism campaign that has seen hundreds of suspects arrested and convicted. The killings also mean the suspects cannot be questioned and intelligence on their networks is lost.