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Jakarta Post

Operation Tinombala extended by three months as terror group still at large

  • Ruslan Sangadji

    The Jakarta Post

Palu, Central Sulawesi   /   Mon, January 2, 2017   /  01:08 pm
Operation Tinombala extended by three months as terror group still at large Stay alert -- Central Sulawesi Police chief Brig. Gen. Rudy Sufahriadi (right) talks about the progress of Operation Tinombala in a press conference in Palu on Dec. 31. (Antara/Basri Marzuki)

Operation Tinombala in fighting the East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) terror group will extend its operation by three months from the original ending date of Jan. 3 to ensure the complete elimination of the group and its power and influences, a top security official has said.

Operation Tinombala taskforce commander Brig. Gen. Rudy Sufahriadi said the operation in Poso, Central Sulawesi, was extended because nine MIT members had remained at large and continued to wage guerrilla warfare in forests across Poso.

“The operation will end only if all remnants of the MIT can be busted, dead or alive,” said Rudy on Friday.

The nine remaining MIT members are Ali Kalora, Firdaus alias Daus or alias Barok Rangga, Kholid, Askar alias Jaid or alias Pak Guru, Qatar alias Farel, Abu Alim, Muh Faisal alias Namnung or alias Kobar, Nae alias Galuh and Basir alias Romzi.

Rudy said one year after its launch, the target of Operation Tinombala to paralyze the leaders of the MIT, a local terror organization affiliated with the IS extremist group, had been achieved. MIT leader Santoso alias Abu Wardah was shot dead in an operation on July 18, 2016. His followers, both locals and foreigners, had either been arrested or shot dead.

Still, the terror group had yet to be fully eliminated with the remaining members still at large, Rudy said.  

(Read also: Operation Tinombala likely to be extended: Chief)

Rudy, who is also the Central Sulawesi Police chief, further said it was likely remnants of the MIT were led by Ali Kalora. They reportedly still possessed armed weapons and home-assembled bombs. He did not give details on how many armed weapons were still being used by the terrorist group but confirmed they possessed a large number of homemade bombs.

Operation Tinombala taskforce deputy commander Col. Alfi Sahri Lubis previously said it was likely the types of armed weapons still possessed by the MIT members were SS1-V1, made by state weapon maker PT Pindad, and the US-manufactured M16-A1.

MIT’s weapons were identifiable as they used 5.56 millimeter munitions, very similar to the SS1-V1 and M16-A1.

It was believed those weapons had been used to shoot First Pvt. Yusuf Baharuddin, who was once a member of the Army's Special Forces (Kopassus) and had worked with the Operation Tinombala taskforce, in a shootout in Poso Pesisir on Dec. 20. (ebf)

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