Indon fighters heading for Fallujah

  • AseanPlus News
  • Tuesday, 30 Nov 2004

JAKARTA: An Indonesian Muslim group said yesterday it will send volunteers to help Iraq's insurgents fight US-led forces in the city of Fallujah. 

The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) opened registration for volunteers on Friday and so far 300 people had signed on, said the group's chairman Machsuni Kaloko. 

“We have decided to send volunteers to Fallujah. We must help Iraqi resist US forces,” Kaloko said.  

Kaloko said he was aware that the government would not approve but insisted that the volunteers would travel to Iraq legally. 

The front emerged several years ago when it made a number of high-profile attacks on Jakarta nightspots it accused of harbouring prostitutes and drug traffickers. 

Former leader Habib Mohammad Rizieq Shihab was last year sentenced to seven months in jail in connection with the raids. 

After a period of relative hiatus the group returned to action this year, staging raids on several nightspots during the recent Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.  

The US-led assault against Fallujah, which has claimed 2,000 lives, has raised anti-American sentiment in Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country and a vocal opponent of the Iraq invasion. 

On Sunday some 8,000 Muslims staged a peaceful protest outside the US embassy in Jakarta to denounce the Fallujah onslaught, the largest post-war military operation in Iraq. – AFP  

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