This was the third violent Islamic attack by the terror group in the last three months.
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Islamist Terrorists Kill Four Salvation Army Members in C. Sulawesi, Manhunt Launched
By: Rully Satriadi, Jeis Montesori, Jakarta Globe, November 29, 2020:
Jakarta: The National Police and Indonesia Military has launched an operation to hunt down an Islamist terror group East Indonesia Mujahidin, or MIT, hiding in a forest in Sigi, Central Sulawesi, after the terrorist allegedly killed a Christian family in The Salvation Army church’s outpost on Friday.
This was the third violent attack by the terror group in the last three months. Ali Ahmad, also known as Ali Kalora, lead an estimated ten followers and has been evading the government’s military operation in the Central Sulawesi jungle for the past two years.
“Today, we are deploying 100 troops from the Tinombala Task Force, Central Sulawesi Police Mobile Brigade, and Indonesia Military to carry out the pursuit of the Ali Kalora group,” Brig. Gen. Awi Setiyono, the National Police spokesman, said on Saturday.
The police first received a report on Friday that an unknown group attacked a family in Lemban Tongoa village in Sigi and burned their houses, Awi said. The first police arrived at the scene at 01:00 on Friday, finding four bodies and seven houses burned down. Two of the bodies were mutilated, while one of them was beheaded.
Adjutant Chief Comr. Yoga Priyahutama, the Sigi police chief, lead an investigation team that questioned five witnesses at the scene.
“It was stated that the perpetrators were at least 10 people, three of them carried firearms,” Awi said.
The witnesses identified three of the attackers as members of East Indonesia Mujahidin, based on the terrorists’ photograph the police shown to them, Awi said.
The other 150 families in Lembantongoa village have evacuated to a safer place to avoid further conflicts.
East Indonesia Mujahidin
MIT was a terror organization mainly operating in Central Sulawesi, with an affiliation to Southeast Asia transnational terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah. Ali Kalora emerged as the group’s new leader after a police operation in July 2016 killed MIT charismatic leader Santoso.
In August, the group ambushed and robbed a vehicle carrying medical workers. In a separate incident, MIT took two farmers’ hostages and killed one of them. The military operation in the last two years has reduced the group fighting force to around a dozen members, who hide in the thick jungle of Central Sulawesi.
The National police initiated Operation Tinombala in January to hunt down the remaining members of the MIT.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army said in a statement on Saturday that the victims were the church’s members working in a Sulawesi outpost, looking to establish the church work and develop a society there.
Brian Peddle, international leader of The Salvation Army, denounced the terror attack. “Throughout all aspects of Salvation Army ministry and influence, we work for peace,” he said.
“We find the news from Lembantongoa greatly disturbing. Our hearts go out to our people who have been victims of evil and to the families of those whose faith has caused such harm. I call upon all Salvationists to pray for each person who has been affected, for the continuing witness of our people, and for healing in the communities,” he said.
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