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Joint anti-terror exercise opens in Indonesia

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NINIEK KARMINI | September 9, 2013 04:36 AM EST | AP

SENTUL, Indonesia — A multinational anti-terrorism exercise officially kicked off Monday in Indonesia, with 872 elite soldiers taking part from 18 countries.

Indonesia's Military Chief Gen. Moeldoko and U.S. Ambassador for ASEAN, David Carden, opened the five-day drill that runs until Friday on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta.

Moeldoko said in a speech that the threat of terrorism has increased in line with science and technology developments.

"The current dynamic of security development in the world needs serious attention from all security elements, especially the military," said Moeldoko, who was appointed as Indonesia's armed forces commander in August.

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, has been battling terrorists since the 2002 bombings in Bali by militants linked to Jemaah Islamiyah, which killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists.

However, recent terror attacks in the country have been carried out by individuals or small groups and have targeted security forces and locals, with less deadly results.

Carden expressed the hope that the participants would share best practices and information to better cooperate in confronting the problem in the region.

He said the cooperation can also work for disaster preparedness.