Indonesia’s most wanted militant with ties to the Islamic State (IS) group has been killed in a gun battle with security forces, the military said, in a victory for the counter-terrorism campaign against extremists in the jungles of Sulawesi island.
Ali Kalora was one of two militants killed in the shootout, according to Central Sulawesi province’s military chief, Brig Gen Farid Makruf. He identified the other suspected extremist as Jaka Ramadan.
The two men were shot during a raid on Saturday by a joint team of military and police officers in Central Sulawesi’s mountainous Parigi Moutong district, Makruf said. It borders Poso district, which is considered an extremist hotbed in the province.
“Ali Kalora was the most wanted terrorist and leader of MIT,” Makruf said, referring to the East Indonesia Mujahideen militant group, which claims allegiance to IS. He said that security forces were searching for the four remaining members of the group.
The East Indonesia Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several killings of police officers and Christians, who are a religious minority.
Security operations in Central Sulawesi have intensified over recent months in efforts to capture members of the network. The network pledged allegiance to IS in 2014.