Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Indonesian police made a raid on a terrorist cell, killing two. The group was suspected of attacks on the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton in Jakarta, on 17 July last.
According to preliminary information two Islamic extremists were arrested, two others were killed during the shoot-out with the special anti-terrorist squad Detachment 88. The raid took place this morning at Ciputat, 20 km south of the capital Jakarta.
Among the terrorists reported to have been involved in the raid were Syaifuddin Zuhri and Mohammad Syahrir. Anonymous police sources say that the two are dead, but official confirmation is only expected at 5 pm, when a press conference is to be held.
Zuhri and Syahrir, the two killed, are regarded as two leading figures of Al Qaeda in Southeast Asia. The first is considered the new leader of the terrorist organization in the region. Last month, police issued a letter in which he declared himself the successor of Noordin M Top, the historic leader of Al Qaeda in Southeast Asia, killed on September 16. Security forces in Jakarta also argue that Zhuri recruited the bombers of July 17.
According to preliminary reports, the police caught up to the group in a boarding house near the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, believed to be their main hideout.
The Ciputat raid happened was preceded by a police blitz in Margahayu in 'East Bekasi, which apparently led to the arrest of another terrorist, whose identity has not yet been made known.