Jakarta (ANTARA News) - National Police Chief General Badroddin Haiti said the helicopter crash in the regency of Poso, Central Sulawesi on Sunday (March 20) was not related to the terrorist attack mounted by East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT), led by Santoso.
"The helicopter crash in Poso was not related to a terrorist attack because it did not happen in vulnerable area, but at the settlement near the airport," Badroddin Haiti said here on Monday.
Currently, an Army team is investigating the cause of the accident.
"We assume that the helicopter crashed in Poso due to bad weather. However, it is still being investigated by the military," he said.
At least 13 military officers were killed in the helicopter crash on Sunday, as per the police.
The victims were Central Sulawesi Tadulako 132 Military Resort Command (Korem) chief Col. Saiful Anwar, Palu Military Police Command (POM) commander Lt. Col. Teddy S. Prapat, National Intelligence Agency (BIN) officer Col. Ontang, Military Intelligence Division (BAIS) officer Col. Heri Setiaji, Korem 132 information chief Maj. Faqih Rasyid, chief of the health division at the 1307 Poso Military District Command (Kodim) Capt. Yanto, and the assistant of the Korem 132 commander Second Pvt. Kiki.
Others who died were six Army aviators, namely Capt. Agung, First Lieut. Wirahadi, Second Lieut. Tito, First Sgt. Bagus, Second Sgt. Karmin and First Pvt. Bangkit.
The helicopter crashed near the village of Kasiguncu on Sunday at 18:55 local time.
Poso Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Roni gave no other details of the incident.
He said the bodies of the victims had been evacuated to the city of Poso.
The jungles in the mountains in the district of Poso are known to be the hiding places of long sought terrorist group operating under Santoso.
President Joko Widodo has offered condolences to the kin of all victims.
"I offer my deep condolences to the bereaved family members of the victims," the president said.
He also prayed for the souls of the soldiers who died in the military helicopter.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2016