The Jakarta Post
Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung says Saudi Arabia has pledged to give free haj packages to family members of the National Police’s Densus 88 counterterrorism squad personnel who die on duty.
The kingdom said it would consider Densus 88 members who passed away to be martyrs, Pramono said.
The official said the deal was secured after the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) attended a recent bilateral meeting between Indonesia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on counterterrorism.
The free haj packages, Pramono said, served as a symbol of the kingdom’s appreciation for Indonesia’s efforts to combat terrorism. In the near future, Saudi Arabia will fly out five family members of late Densus 88 personnel.
“BNPT chief [Suhardi Alius] reported that after the agency attended a meeting on counterterrorism and radicalism in Saudi Arabia, it was agreed that annually the kingdom will fly five family members of Densus 88 personnel who died while on duty for free, because they are considered martyrs,” Pramono said.
The kingdom made the pledge amid recent criticism for its failure to pay compensation to Indonesian pilgrims who were victims of a crane incident in November last year.
Saudi Arabia had pledged to provide 1 million riyals (US$266,607) in compensation for each dead or permanently disabled victim and 500,000 riyals for those who were less badly injured. However, nothing has been received by the victims.
Twelve Indonesians died and 49 were injured during the incident. (ary)
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