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Australia welcomes Bashir's arrest: FM

08-09-2010 16:12 BJT

CANBERRA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith on Monday praised the arrest of radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir.

"Australia welcomes the fact that Indonesian police have today arrested Abu Bakar Bashir in connection with possible terrorism- related offenses," Smith told the Australian Associated Press on Monday.

Bashir is best known as the co-founder and spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah, the terrorist group responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Bashir, 72, spent several years in prison for his involvement with Jemaah Islamiah but was released in 2006.

Smith said the arrest showed Indonesia was committed to counter- terrorism.

"Australia will await the formal detailed announcement by Indonesian authorities before commenting further."

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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