Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist with links to the Islamic State group was killed in an encounter with security forces on Saturday, the Indonesian military said in a massive counter-terrorism operation against extremists in remote mountain forests.
The Brigadier, the regional military chief of Central Sulawesi, said Ali Kalora was one of two militants killed in the raid. General Farid Makaruf. He identified the other suspected extremist as Zaka Ramzan.
Makroof said two people were shot dead by a joint team of military and police officers late Saturday night in the mountainous Parigi Moutong district of Central Sulawesi province. It borders Poso District, which is considered an extremist center in the province.
“Ali Kalora was the Most Wanted Terrorist and the leader of MIT,” said Makroof, referring to the Indonesian acronym of the East Indonesia Mujahideen Network, a terrorist group that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in 2014.
He said security forces were searching for the remaining four suspected members of the group.
Saturday’s firing comes two months after security forces gunned down two suspected members of the group during an early morning raid in the same mountainous district.
The Mujahideen in eastern Indonesia has claimed responsibility for several killings of police officers and minority Christians. Security operations in the area have been intensified in recent months to try to nab members of the network targeting the group’s leader, Ali Kalora.
Kalora had escaped capture for more than a decade. He took over from Abu Varda Santoso, who was killed by security forces in July 2016. Dozens of other leaders and members of the group have since been killed or captured.
In May, terrorists killed four Christians in a village in Poso district, with one beheaded. Officials said the attack was carried out in retaliation for the March killings of two terrorists, including Santoso’s son.
Makroof said the rugged terrain and darkness have hindered efforts to retrieve two bodies from the scene of a shootout in the forested village of Astina. He said the bodies of Kalora and her follower would be taken by helicopter on Sunday morning for further investigation and identification.
Indonesia, the world’s most Muslim-majority country, has continued crackdown on militants since the 2002 bombings on the tourist island of Bali that killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.
Terrorist attacks on foreigners in Indonesia have been replaced in recent years by smaller, less lethal attacks largely targeting the government, mainly the police and counter-terrorism forces, and people inspired by the Islamic State group’s strategy abroad. admit.