02/02/2007, 00.00
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Two most wanted terrorists arrested in Poso

by Benteng Reges
They are leaders of a group linked to Jemaah Islamiah, responsible for many violent attacks on Christians, including the murder of a female pastor and two Christian students in 2005.

Poso (AsiaNews) – Indonesian police have reported another success in the fight against local terrorism: yesterday two of the most wanted men in central Sulawesi province were arrested. They are leaders of a group of Muslim militants responsible for several attacks against the Christian community. The police announced the news after a dawn raid resulted in the capture of Basri, the area’s most sought after fugitive, and his right hand, Ardin alias Rojak.

Security forces believe the two to be the leaders of a gang guilty of at least 14 episodes of violence in central Sulawesi, including the killing in Palu of a female pastor, Susianti Tinulele. The two men are also accused of fatally wounding two student girls from Poso – Ivone Natalie, 17 years and her friend, Siti Nuraini – who were shot in the face at close range in November 2005.

Poso police spokesman, Muhammad Tahir, said the group led by the two arrested men is linked to Jemaah Islamiah, a terrorist network operational in South-East Asia and responsible for, among others, the Bali bomb attacks in 2002. “Their mission is to make all Poso Muslim,” said the spokesman, adding that Christians and Muslims in the region were balanced in number.

Between 1998 and 2001, Poso and Palu were a battleground of sectarian conflict that saw 2,000 people killed and more than 100,000 displaced.

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