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More suspects held over Tentena bombings PALU - Police have arrested six more people they believe are involved in the Saturday bombings in Tentena, Central Sulawesi, with suspicions now surfacing that some of the alleged perpetrators were linked to a riot in a neighboring province last year.

Central Sulawesi Police deputy chief Sr. Comr. Sukirno confirmed that the six more people were arrested on Wednesday after seven others were detained the day earlier. He said all 13 people would be named suspects for involvement in acts of terror.

The first seven detainees are former government officials Abdul Kadir Sidik and Ismet, former activists Andi Makkasau and Ahmad Laparigi, former head of the Poso social affairs office Anwar Ali, Poso prison warden Hasman, and a woman, Tamri Firna, whose occupation is unknown.

Speculation has been rife that the bombings are related to a corruption scandal involving the first five men in a bid to divert the attention from the case. Sukirno said some of the arrests took place in Pandajaya village, in South Pamona district, the same place where police earlier arrested one of the masterminds of a riot in Mamasa in neighboring West Sulawesi.

The six could have also been involved in instigating the riot that broke out when villagers opposed the establishment of the new West Sulawesi province, Sukirno said. He refused to identify the six but said the police were still searching for two more people identified by their initials as "AT" and "E", who they believed had set off the bombs on Saturday, which killed 21 people and injured some 70 others.

Police have so far questioned 44 people regarding the incident. Security personnel remained on high alert on Wednesday, conducting road checks at border areas between Palu and Poso, frisking drivers, checking vehicles and demanding to see identity cards.

In an attempt to quell escalating sectarian tensions in the religiously divided area, a Muslim and Christian leader, meanwhile, held a meeting inside a church in Tentena. Islamic cleric Adnan Arsal and Protestant Reverend Renaldy Damanik appealed to the people to resist provocation and urged the police to investigate the case thoroughly.

"What we need in this kind of situation is the leadership of role models. We need to show how we can maintain a good and close relationship between the followers of different religions," Renaldy said. In another part of the city, National Police chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar and deputy detectives chief Insp. Gen. John Lalo met with Poso Police top brass to evaluate the progress of investigation into the case.

Separately, Palu Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Guntur Widodo said his officers arrested on Wednesday six people from Ternate in North Maluku during a raid on a ship which docked at Pantoloan seaport. The six were arrested after failing to produce valid identity cards. They would also not clearly state their planned destinations, Guntur said.

Security in Palu has been tense, with police conducting raids on residential areas and hotels after bomb threats were made on the Bala Keselamatan and Advent churches on Tuesday.


Link to related event Related event:
Tentena market bombing

Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict') Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict'):
30 May 2005 · Indonesia suspects JI over deadly blasts
29 May 2005 · President orders market bombers caught
29 May 2005 · Two Indonesia bomb explosions kill 22
28 May 2005 · Volunteers say Tentena explosions kill 27
28 May 2005 · Bomb blasts at Indonesia market kills 20


Posted in C. Sulawesi conflict @ 02 June 2005 11:46 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





timogubbens
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It is really awful that this has happened, I was there last August, I went camping with some boys who were from there. I read that there are rumours that Jemaah Islamiyaah is involved. Does anybody know more?



Albert
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Maybe the start of a new series of attacks? Emoticon: Angry



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