Three Police, One Militant Killed in Aceh


Three policemen and a terror suspect were killed during this week’s raid on Islamist militants in Sumatra island’s northern Aceh province, Indonesian police said Saturday. Police spokesman Edward Aritonang said the three security men and the terror suspect were found dead after an intense exchange of gunfire on Thursday.

“At the location, we found four dead bodies. They consist of three paramilitary police members and a terror suspect,” Aritonang said, without further elaboration. It was the second terror suspect reported to have been killed in raids on alleged militants in a remote, forested part of Aceh Besar district over the past two weeks.

Two civilians were also killed by stray bullets in the operations, police said. Fourteen suspected militants have been charged following their arrest in the raids which, police said Saturday, were ongoing.

The police said they discovered a blog on Friday in which it claimed as to belonging to the Al-Qaeda branch in Aceh. The blog stated that some members had survived the raids in Aceh and called for fellow Muslims to follow their steps, according to reports by local media.

“We are still investigating who’s responsible for the blog and whether it was truly linked to the armed group in Aceh. We want to know whether the blog was genuine,” Aritonang said.

Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Friday that the alleged militants were not linked to GAM, which once waged an insurgency in Aceh. Semi-autonomous Aceh, a deeply Islamic province, saw a three-decade separatist war that claimed around 15,000 lives before it ended in 2005.