Palu, Central Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Some personnel deployed to the Madago Raya Task Force to look for East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) fugitives were withdrawn from their deployment in Poso District, Central Sulawesi, the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) commander stated.

"Hundreds of TNI personnel have been gradually withdrawn (from their deployment) and returned to the respective units since March," TNI Commander General Andika Perkasa stated during his working visit here on Friday.

He explained that of the initial 267 personnel that formed the task force, some 167 personnel were returned to their units, and the rest of the 100 personnel remain in their deployment area.

All remaining 100 personnel in the Madago Raya task force belong to military units within the Central Sulawesi Province, the military commander remarked.

"In general, security conditions in the three operational areas of Poso, Parigi Moutong, and Sigi districts are improving," Perkasa noted.

He said that the improvement in situation demonstrates that joint efforts of the military, police, and residents to eradicate the MIT terrorist cell are effective.

Related news: Children have become targets of terrorist groups: Ministry

Only one MIT member remains at large in Central Sulawesi's forests after one of the terrorists was shot by security officers earlier, the commander remarked.

"We hope the improving conditions would be sufficient to provide security and comfort for residents, and we are optimistic that this kind of anti-terrorist operation would no longer be required in Central Sulawesi," Perkasa stated

Regarding efforts to prevent radical ideologies among residents, he expressed hope that regional heads would utilize the 150 personnel deployed by the military in village assistance programs in the province.

"We have set one focal point of the program in Central Sulawesi of the 50 points that we have set nationwide. We hope regions targeted by the program would utilize the deployed personnel to educate residents and prevent the exposure of radical thoughts (among them)," he remarked.

Related news: Indonesia, Philippines agree to bolster counter-terrorism cooperation

Translator: M Ridwan/M Izfaldi, Nabil I
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
Copyright © ANTARA 2022