Jakarta: Five armed members of the East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) exchanged fire with the Operation Tinombala Taskforce personnel in a village of Poso District, Central Sulawesi, on Sunday, killing Basir alias Romzi, a police officer stated.
Apart from killing Basir, the taskforce personnel also captured Aditya, who sustained gunshot wounds during the exchange of fire, Assistant of Operation for the Indonesian Police Chief Inspector General Rudy Sufahriadi stated here on Monday.
Speaking to journalists here, he said Basir, who was armed with an assault rifle M16 and held an important position in this Ali Kalora-led group, came from Bima in West Nusa Tenggara Province while Aditya was from Ambon, Maluku Province.
However, the Operation Tinombala Taskforce personnel have yet to find Ali Kalora, the MIT leader, Sufahriadi remarked, adding that Ali Kalora might remain with his group's members and hide in the jungle of Poso District.
With the death of Basir and arrest of Aditya during the exchange of fire that occurred in Padopi Village on Sunday at around 5:15 p.m. local time, the MIT is forecast to just have 12 personnel. They are equipped with two M16 rifles and two shotguns.
Sufahriadi said the Padopi villagers were afraid of Ali Kalora, as he would come to the residents' houses if they were found to have contacted the police.
Knowing this condition, the taskforce personnel initiated to approach the community members to convince them that the police will protect them, he noted.
The Operation Tinombala Taskforce is supported by three companies of personnel from the Central Sulawesi Police, one company of personnel from the National Police, and two companies of personnel from the Indonesian Defence Forces.
This total number of personnel has been sufficient to carry out the Operation Tinombala, Sufahriadi noted.
The Indonesian military and police personnel have launched the Operation Tinombala since 2016. In the past, it was aimed at hunting Santoso and his men in the jungles of Poso. Santoso alias Abu Wardah was finally killed. (Antara)