Most wanted Indonesia militant in new call to kill police

DUBAI (AFP) - Indonesia's most wanted Islamist militant, Santoso, has issued a new call for attacks on anti-terror police, whom he accused of being Australian and US agents, a monitoring group said Tuesday.

Santoso, also known as Abu Wardah, who heads a group called the East Indonesia Mujahedeen from the mountains of Central Sulawesi, urged followers to show no mercy against elite counter-terror unit Detachment 88, the US-based SITE Intelligence Group said.

"Poison them, if you are not able to kill with the sword. If you have a weapon, then kill," it quoted him as saying in a 20-minute video published on jihadist forums.

"They are invaders of this country, and they want to apostatise the Islamic Ummah."

Detachment 88 was established after the Bali bombings on Bali that killed 202 people in 2002, mostly Western tourists.

It has gained strong public support in Indonesia after claiming the scalps of some of the region's most-wanted extremists.

But it has also faced allegations of torture and unlawful killings that have sparked concerns it is fuelling the jihadist cause.

Santoso, who is himself suspected of multiple murders of police, claimed that the unit was "the Australian army, not the Indonesian army, and not a defender of the country of Indonesia".

"They are defending Australia and America.... to destabilise the existing system in Indonesia," he said.

Santoso issued a similar call in a YouTube clip posted in July last year.