Indonesia police hunt suspected militants after four killed; 7 terrorist suspects arrested thus far


Indonesian police were searching on Saturday (Nov 28) for suspected militants accused of killing four people said by rights groups to be Christians, beheading one and burning down their homes. - AFP

JAKARTA, Nov. 28 (Reuters/Xinhua): Indonesian police said Saturday that they have arrested seven terrorist suspects in the country's eastern province of Gorontalo.

The suspects were held by the National Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad in separate places in the province's Pohuwato district, Gorontalo Police spokesperson Wahyu Tri Cahyono said without giving more details.

"It is true that suspected terrorists have been arrested," he said, as reported by local news outlet Kompas.com.

Cahyono also said the suspects had been transferred to the National Police's headquarters for interrogation.

Earlier on Saturday (Nov 28), Indonesian police said they were searching for suspected militants accused of killing four people said by rights groups to be Christians, beheading one and burning down their homes.

Ten militants linked to a "terrorist" group beheaded one victim and slit the throats of the others on the island of Sulawesi on Friday, national police spokesman Awi Setiyono quoted a witness as saying.

Speaking to the news channel Metro TV, Awi did not explain the alleged attackers' motivation. He did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Indonesia, the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, has grappled with intermittent militant attacks recently.

"This attack is another serious escalation against the Christian minority in Indonesia," Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono told Reuters.

Gomar Gultom, the head of the Communion of Churches in Indonesia, told Reuters the victims were Christian and urged the authorities to resolve the case.

International Christian Concern, a Washington-based advocacy group, posted on its website on Friday that "an alleged terrorist" killed four Christians in the Sulawesi village, burning down a Salvation Army post and Christian homes.

Awi said, "We're on the ground now, there's about 100 people who will start chasing."

The investigation, led by the Indonesian police and the military, may run into hurdles as the incident took place in a hilly, remote village near the region of Sigi in Central Sulawesi province, he said. - Reuters
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