Police officer, two civilians killed in Aceh firefight

The government’s campaign against terrorist groups in Aceh escalated Friday with a police officer and another civilian losing their lives in a skirmish.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Edward Aritonang confirmed on Friday the deaths of one of his officers and the civilian. The police officer was identified as First. Brig. Boas Woisiri and the civilian was Nurbari.

Aritonang said additional groups of officers were deployed to assist their counterparts in pursuing the terrorist suspects.

“The terrorists knew the field better than us and they held the higher ground so they could monitor our movements and positions,” Edward told a press conference.

Besides the “home-ground advantage”, he also admitted that the terrorists were better armed and equipped than the police.

From Wednesday to Thursday evening, Aceh and National Police teams raided a suspected armed terrorist group in Meunasah Tunong village, Aceh Besar.

Besides the two deaths, dozens were injured, including nine police officers.

Last week, the police raided another group in Jantho, Aceh Besar, where another civilian was killed in the crossfire.

The police have maintained that they had warned the villagers, including the two dead civilians, about the raid.