Indonesia police arrest a man suspected to be terrorist in Mekarsari, West Java, on October 26 - Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia’s anti-terrorism police on December 11 arrested 18 people with links to militant groups as an effort to strengthen security ahead of the Christmas and New Year 2018.

Police Chief Tito Karnavian said that law enforcement forces have carried out several raids and detained numerous people. The majority of them have links to previous incidents and people who had been arrested earlier.

Under Indonesia's anti-terrorism law, investigators can hold people for seven days before determining whether they will be designated suspects or released.

Near-simultaneous attacks on churches in the capital, Jakarta, and elsewhere on Christmas Eve in 2000, killed nearly 20 people. Ever since, authorities have stepped up security at churches and tourist spots for the holiday.-VNA