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Indonesia arrests 3 on suspicion of links to Jakarta attack:

January 15, 2016 09:50 IST
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The Indonesian police has arrested three suspects in connection with the attack in Jakarta on Thursday that killed seven people including five attackers.

The three men were arrested at dawn from the outskirts of Jakarta, the police said. The three are suspected militants, and are being currently questioned, they added.

In an assault that bore the hallmarks of the Paris attacks, five extremists detonated explosives and shot at people in a district packed with malls, embassies and United Nations offices.

The assault left an Indonesian man dead and 20 other people injured, and a police post destroyed, in what the country's president dubbed "acts of terror".

Hours after the attack, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying it was carried out by "soldiers of the caliphate" who targeted a gathering of citizens from the "crusader coalition," referring to the US-led alliance combating the jihadists.

Starbucks said it was shuttering all branches in the Indonesian capital until further notice "out of an abundance of caution" after the attack.

The area is home to several embassies, including those of the United States, France and Spain. A number of United Nations agencies are also housed nearby.

"We know that ISIS has the desire to declare a province in this region," said Kumar Ramakrishna, a counter-terrorism analyst at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

Regional terrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna said the assault bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State group.

"The only group that has the capability and the intention to mount coordinated, simultaneous attacks in Jakarta is the ISIS network," he said, using an alternate acronym for the group.

Image: Indonesian policemen stands guard in front of a blast site. Photograph: Oscar Siagian/Getty Images

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