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Police arrest two wanted Muslim militants JAKARTA - Policemen arrested on Thursday two men wanted as top members of a local Islamic militant group that has terrorized the country's Central Sulawesi province and had links to an Asian terror network, police said. Officers wounded one of them who had fired at the security forces, said a senior police official in Central Sulawesi's Poso regency, where raids on hideouts of suspected militants have intensified recently.

"Adrin has injuries on his arm, leg and chest but has been treated at the Poso public hospital. Basri did not give any resistance," Poso police chief Rudi Sufahriadi told Reuters. Police consider Basri and Adrin the leader and number two in a gang behind 14 cases of violence in Central Sulawesi, including the beheadings of three Christian girls in 2005 and assassinations of Protestant ministers.

Poso police spokesman Muhammad Tahir said the group had links to Jemaah Islamiah, a Southeast Asian militant network responsible for several attacks in Indonesia, including the 2002 Bali bombings that killed more than 200 people. "They have the mission to make all of Poso Islam," he said, adding that the region currently has equal numbers of Muslims and Christians. More than 2,000 people were killed in three years of sectarian violence between Muslim and Christian communities in the Poso region before a peace accord took effect in late 2001. There has been sporadic violence since, and prosecutions against those involved have been scarce.

Poso has been tense since the execution of three Christian militants in September over their role in the massacres of Muslims at a boarding school in 2000. In January, 14 people, one of them a policeman, were killed during raids that involved gunfire between security forces and suspected Islamic militants.

Police defended the tactics as necessary to capture wanted criminals who try to hide behind the local Muslim community. Indonesia's president and other high ranking officials have supported the police actions while rejecting criticisms the operations were anti-Muslim.


Link to related event Related event:
Terrorism in Indonesia


Posted in Terrorism @ 02 February 2007 02:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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