The Jakarta Post
The North Sulawesi Police has denied media reports that members of the Islamic State (IS) terror group had been sighted along the maritime borders of Indonesia and the Philippines.
North Sulawesi Police spokesperson Ibrahim Tompo said the government had beefed up security in the maritime border area by deploying around 100 Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel, following intensified armed clashes between Philippine security forces and IS-affiliated terror groups in Marawi, capital of Lanao del Sur province.
“It’s just a precaution. It is not true that IS fighters have reached the area. As of today, the Indonesia-Philippines border is safe, although it takes only three hours to reach the Philippine territory from Miangas [North Sulawesi’s northernmost island],” said Tompo on Thursday.
He suspected that the rumors emerged because of the massive presence of Indonesian Military and National Police (Polri) personnel along the North Sulawesi stretch of the shared maritime border with the Philippines. Additional Brimob troops would be dispatched from National Police headquarters in Jakarta to reinforce security readiness in the areas.
Manado Naval Base spokesperson Maj. Dedi Irawan said the Navy was set to secure Indonesia’s maritime territory throughout the year.
“We have readied war ships, including KRI Badau and KRI Batik, as well a submarine,” said Irawan. adding that Indonesia’s northernmost islands Posal Miangas and Marore bordered the Philippines. (ebf)