Indonesian soldier dies after shootout with militants

Army hunting members of East Indonesia Mujahideen since Jan. 14 terror attack in Jakarta left 8 dead

Indonesian soldier dies after shootout with militants

World Bulletin / News Desk

An Indonesian soldier has died after a shootout with ISIL-linked militants being tracked by the army in the jungles of Sulawesi Island.

The soldier was from a 3000-strong force that has been hunting the East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) group in Poso, South Sulawesi since a Jan. 14 extremist attack in central Jakarta killed four civilians and four ISIL-affiliated assailants.

National police spokesman Commissioner Martinus Sitompul confirmed the incident to Kompas.com news site, saying that the incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon when a team of security forces tracked militants into the forest.

"At that time, Nanggala 8 Team is pursuing member of MIT," said Sitompul, adding that a group of people opened fire on the army personnel, leaving two soldiers wounded.

"Both were taken to Poso hospital, but one of them died."

The army continues to pursue the group.

Of the once 40-strong MIT, just 13 members are thought to remain, with many forced to surrender due to diminishing food supplies and the intensity of the army's operation.

MIT leader Abu Wardah Santoso was killed in a gunfight with the army in July, leaving the group severely weakened.

Since January, the task force's Operation Tinombala has besieged the group, cutting off communication between them and their sympathizers and families, as well as disrupting their supply lines.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Aralık 2016, 20:17
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