Jakarta (ANTARA) - National Police's counter-terrorism squad, Special Detachment (Densus) 88, arrested 24 individuals suspected of supporting Poso-based East Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist groups.

"The National Police's Special Detachment 88 has arrested 24 suspected terrorist sympathisers involved in (activities of) Poso-based MIT and ISIS," the Police Public Relations Division's Public Information Bureau head, Brigadier General Ahmad Ramadhan, stated here on Monday.

The bureau head remarked that the 24 suspects were arrested simultaneously on Saturday (May 14) in the three provinces of Central Sulawesi, West Java, and East Kalimantan.

Of the 24 suspects, some 22 individuals were arrested in Central Sulawesi, which is the base of the MIT terrorist group, he noted.

"Some 22 (suspects were arrested) in Central Sulawesi, while we have one suspect each in Bekasi (West Java) and East Kalimantan," Ramadhan revealed.

Despite the arrest, the bureau head is yet to reveal more information about the suspects' personal identity and their suspected roles and degree of involvement with the terrorist groups.

Related news: Indonesian govt boosts deployment in Poso to hunt terror suspects

Meanwhile, two fugitives belonging to the Poso-based MIT terrorist group are still at large in Central Sulawesi following the death of Suhardin alias Hasan Pranata on April 27.

Suhardin was killed during an operation conducted by the joint military-police Madago Raya Task Force deployed to hunt the terrorists.

Central Sulawesi Police Head Inspector General Rudy Sufahriadi urged the two fugitives to surrender peacefully either to the task force or the military or police officers.

Furthermore, with regard to the improvement of security conditions in Central Sulawesi, some personnel deployed for the task force have been withdrawn, according to the National Defense Forces (TNI) commander.

"Hundreds of TNI personnel have been gradually withdrawn (from their deployment) and returned to the respective units since March," TNI Commander General Andika Perkasa stated during his working visit to Palu, Central Sulawesi, on Friday (May 13).

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.
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Translator: Laily Rahmawaty, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Suharto
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