Jakarta (AsiaNews) Indonesian police announced yesterday that seven suspected Islamic terrorists have admitted that they took part in the decapitation of three young Christian women in Poso (Central Sulawesi) on October 29, 2005. The manhunt for Taufik Bulaga, alias Upik, who allegedly masterminded the crime, continues according to a law enforcement spokesman.
Central Sulawesi police chief Brigadier General Oegroseno said that two of the suspects also acknowledge ties to Noordin Top, regarded as a key leader of the al-Qaida-linked group Jemaah Islamiyah.
The anti-terror unit captured Taufik Bulaga last Monday downtown Poso, but he was able to flee thanks to an angry mob that attacked the police.
Police spokesman Anton Bachrul Alam said Bulaga is dangerous man, among the top of the most wanted criminals. He is a suspect in the murder of a soldier's wife, Helmy Tobiling, in July 2004, and of the three young Christian women.
"We won't give up. We shall continue the investigation until Bulaga is brought to justice," Brigadier General Anton said.
Sulawesi remains the scene of periodic outbursts of violence. Between 1998 and 2001 it saw widespread sectarian clashes that left thousands dead.
So far only three Christians have been tried and sentenced to death as a result of that violence. They are scheduled to be executed in a few days.