"This morning, our members reported that they had arrested three more terrorists from the village of Tayawa, thereby taking the total count to seven," Central Sulawesi regional police commands Chief Brigadier General Idham Azis informed newsmen at his office here on Thursday.
He declined to reveal details of the operations or the identities of the people arrested, saying they are still being moved from the district of Tojo Unauna where Tayawa is located.
"After they have arrived and been interrogated, we would be able to explain about them in detail," he noted.
He remarked that the suspects were believed to be terror operatives led by Santoso who is still at large and believed to be hiding in the jungles of Poso Pesisir.
Azis noted that 24 suspects had been caught, including seven who died during the Camar Maleo I, II, III, and IV operations conducted to fight Santosos terrorist cell. The operations will continue until January 9, 2016.
Two police officers and a TNI (military) member died during the operations.
Azis remarked that guns, ammunition, self-made bombs, bomb-making materials, clothes, flashlights, and other items had been confiscated from the suspects.
He said Santoso and around 31 of his men, who are believed to have been sworn in as ISIS members, are still operating in the forests around Poso Pesisir to Sausu in Parigi district and Napu in Poso district.
"They operate in a forest zone spread over an area of around 2,400 square kilometers. They have been cornered, while their logistics supplies had depleted as the security forces continued to besiege them. God willing, Santoso and his men would be arrested soon," he affirmed.
When questioned whether the Camar Maleo operations, which are under the command of the National Police Headquarters, would be continued, he said if the operations were halted, the Central Sulawesi police command would continue them.
"We are still planning the regional-based operations. The code of operations will also be changed and will no longer use Camar Maleo. It is still being studied by the deputy regional police commander," he added.
(Reporting by Rolex Malaha/R007/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/F001)