Central Java: Five dead in a raid on terrorists, perhaps Noordin M. Top
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Five suspected terrorists killed, three others arrested, an "important" arsenal of weapons including guns and bombs sequestered. This is the outcome of a police operation in Indonesia – lasting more than 10 hours – in Mojosongo, a suburb of Surakarta, in Central Java. Four bodies have already been identified. The fifth, decapitated by an explosion, could be Noordin Mohammed Top, the Malaysian extremist who first on list of wanted criminals; the head of the anti-terrorism squad will neither confirm nor deny the report.
Last night the Special Detachment 88 - an elite Indonesian counter-terrorism team - attacked a hideout used by Islamic extremists in Central Java. The security forces engaged in a fire fight that lasted about ten hours. Hundreds of villagers flocked to witness the operation. Surakarta (or, Solo as it is called by the locals) is the hometown of Abu Bakar Baasyir, former leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) Indonesian terrorist group linked to al Qaeda.
Police have released the names of four of the five extremists who were killed in the raid: they are Urwah, Maruto, Susilo and Putri Munaroh. "A fifth person was decapitated by a second explosion," said a police official, on condition of anonymity. "We suspect this is Noordin Mohammed Top, because he has fair skin and is tall like Noordin”. Interviewed by AFP, Saud Usman Nastion - Head of the Special Detachment 88 - said they do not know if the terrorist from Malaysia is also among the dead.
However the killing of Bagus Budi Pranoto alias Urwah and Maurto has been confirmed, that latter was wanted for involvement in the attack on the two hotels in Jakarta last July, which killed nine people. Among the wounded there is also Munarwaroh Putri, wife of Susilo, who is seven months pregnant, and has been rushed to hospital in Surakarta.
A resident of the village of Mojosongo tells AsiaNews that "Susilo is a kind person, though he never socialized with neighbours." He registered their presence in the village "after three months, at the urgent invitation of local authorities." Suratim, the village leader, adds that they "were working as teachers at an Islamic school and a kindergarten”.