Two terror suspects shot dead in Sumatra

The razed police station complex in Dharmasraya regency in West Sumatra in Indonesia on Sunday. All the main buildings were burned to the ground but there were no casualties.
The razed police station complex in Dharmasraya regency in West Sumatra in Indonesia on Sunday. All the main buildings were burned to the ground but there were no casualties.PHOTO: REUTERS

Police probing links between duo and burning of police complex

JAKARTA • Indonesian police shot dead two men suspected of burning down a police station complex in Sumatra on Sunday in a militant-inspired attack, officials said yesterday.

The duo had used bows and arrows to attack the police, who said a terrorist message was found scrawled on a piece of paper on one of the suspects. The message was written by a man identifying himself as Abu Azzam Al Arkhobiliy, reported The Jakarta Post.

"We are investigating links between the fire and the two terrorists who were killed," said national police spokesman Rikwanto.

He added that firefighters had found two men near the razed complex in Dharmasraya regency in West Sumatra and reported them to the police.

All the main buildings at the police headquarters were burned to the ground but there were no casualties.

Antara news agency reported that following the fire, nine prisoners were evacuated to a safe location. The police are also increasing security measures in the area.

The police and police buildings have been the primary targets for militants in Indonesia for many years because of a sustained crackdown by the anti-terrorism force on home-grown radicals.

Detachment 88 - known locally as Densus 88 - has managed to stamp out or weaken many radical Islamist networks.

But the world's largest Muslim-majority nation has seen a recent resurgence in radicalism, inspired largely by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

A series of small-scale attacks since early last year have been linked to ISIS, which is believed to have thousands of sympathisers in Indonesia.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 14, 2017, with the headline 'Two terror suspects shot dead in Sumatra'. Print Edition | Subscribe