Shooting breaks out between MIT terror group and police after the latter try to recovery victim’s remains. Security forces launch a manhunt for Islamist group members, find weapons and explosive material.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The discovery of a decapitated body has revived the nightmare of Islamic terrorism in Poso, in Central Sulawesi.
For Indonesia’s security forces, the Mujahidin Indonesia Timur (East Indonesia Mujahideen, MIT) is responsible for the brutal assassination, which occurred three days ago. The group is linked to the Islamic State (IS).
The next day, the terrorists exchanged fire with police, wounding two police officers, when a police detective tried to recover the victim's remains. The dead person was a resident of Salubanga, a village in Parigi Moutong Regency.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s military and police have launched a manhunt against members of the Islamist group based in Poso, which is led by Ali Kaliora.
The military have found weapons and explosive material that belong to MIT, Police spokesman General said Dedi Prasetyo.
Since 2016 Indonesian authorities have been involved in Operation Tinombala to track down terror groups in the area.
In July 2016, the military killed Santoso, MIT’s historic leader, better known as Abu Wardah. Two months later, the police announced the capture of his successor, Mohammad Basri. In October, Kaliora’s wife Tini Susanti Kaduku was also taken into custody.
Between 1997 and 2001, Sulawesi and neighbouring Maluku Islands were the scene of a bloody conflict between Protestants and Muslims.
Thousands of people fell victim to violence, hundreds of churches and mosques were destroyed, thousands of houses were razed, and almost half a million people became refugees, 25,000 in Poso alone.
On 20 December 2001, the two sides signed a truce in Malino (South Sulawesi), thanks to a peace plan sponsored by the government. However, the deal did not stop sporadic episodes of terror.
In October 2005, the decapitation by three Islamic extremists of three Christian female students, Alfito Polino, Theresia Morangki and Yarni Sambu, shocked everyone, sparking outrage around the world.