Headlines

More protests greet terror
suspects' burial

Relatives of deceased terror suspects Bagus "Urwah" Budi Pranoto and Ario "Aji" Sudarso insisted on bringing home the bodies of their loved ones, despite burly resistance from locals.

The relatives of Urwah and Aji were scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on Friday to collect their bodies and bury them in their respective local cemeteries.

However, hundreds of locals from Aji's Karangreja village, Purbalingga, and Urwah's Mijen village in Kudus, both in Central Java, protested the families' plans to bury the bodies in their local cemetery.

"We reject Aji's funeral here. We are ashamed of his terrorist acts that killed many people. He is not entitled to a burial in an Islamic cemetery here," Imam Sarikin, a noted figure in Karangreja, said.

As a protest led by Imam was taking place, another group of locals from the same village abruptly stormed the rally.

"What is going on here? Aji is our brother. Although he made a mistake committing an act of terrorism, let God punish him. It is not fair to reject his funeral in this village," Karengreja village head, Iwan Mudiarto, told the rally.

In the village of Mijen, dozens of residents also protested against the plan to bury terror suspect Urwah in the local cemetery, as a form of rejection of his terrorist acts.

"We want to show our opposition to all forms of terrorism," Sukis Jiwantoro, a representative of Mijen People's Association, said.

Urwah and Aji were shot dead in a gun fight at a recent raid on a house in Kepuhsari village, Surakarta, Central Java.

The country's most wanted fugitive, Noordin M. Top, was also killed in the raid.

The police said the location of the two terror suspects' funeral remained unclear partly due to the public's strong rejection.

"Locals have strongly objected to the funeral, but the bodies must be buried. We are still waiting to see what will happen," National Police's deputy spokesman Brig. Gen. Sulistyo Iskak said on Thursday.

The residents of Cilimus village in the West Java town of Kuningan also rejected the funeral of hotel bomber Ibrohim, forcing his family to move the burial to Pondok Rangon in East Jakarta.

The police said they would continue to hunt down the two other terrorists on their list, Syaifudin Zuhri bin Jaelani Irsyad and Muhammad Syahrir.

"We are still hunting for them throughout the holiday," National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Ketut Untung Yoga said recently.

A field operative who asked not to be named said the police had intensified their search for Zuhri and Syahrir.

"We have two remaining targets left. We want to get over it as soon as possible," the source said.

Zuhri was known as the recruiter-cum-fundraiser for the terrorist group led by the late Noordin, while Syahrir, the former Garuda Airways technician, was also involved in planning the recent terror attacks.

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