Central Sulawesi police chief offers holding dialog with armed group

Central Sulawesi police chief offers holding dialog with armed group

Central Sulawesi Police Chief Brigadier General Idham Aziz (left) with the Commander of Military Region VII Wirabuana Army Major General Bachtiar (right). (ANTARA/Basri Marzuki)

Palu (ANTARA News) - Central Sulawesi Police Chief Brigadier General Idham Azis affirmed his readiness to hold a dialog with the members of an armed civilian group currently hiding in the mountainous area in Poso District, Central Sulawesi.

"I am ready to hold a dialog personally, without arms, to find the right solution," Azis stated here on Wednesday.

The dialog is intended to help the group members revert to the right path and become law-abiding citizens.

Hundreds of military and police personnel are currently combing the area to catch around 20 members of the armed civilian group, who are believed to be hiding in Posos mountainous area.

"For sure, the sooner, the better. We chase, chase, and chase (them)," remarked Azis, the former deputy head of the anti-terror Special Detachment 88 squad, in response to a question posed by the press on the timeline of the hunt.

Earlier, Head of the National Counter-terrorism Agency (BNPT) Saud Usman Nasution had urged the public not to support the armed group, which is against the law in Poso.

The BNPT has called on the regional administration, local prominent figures, and religious leaders to play an active role in educating the public, so that they are not influenced by the groups ideology.

The agency also urged the local officials in Central Sulawesi to provide data and information regarding potential terror threats in order to promptly deal with terrorism cases.

Three residents of Lembah Napu, Poso District, are still missing after being allegedly kidnapped by the armed group led by Santoso.

Recently, a local inhabitant was found dead after being supposedly shot by the group.

In the meantime, some 23 suspected terrorists were arrested in Central Sulawesi in 2014.

Two of the suspects were killed in a gun fight in Poso several months ago, Central Sulawesi regional police command spokesman Adjunct Senior Commissioner Utoro Saputro stated earlier this month.

He noted that the suspected terrorists were arrested from several locations, including Palu city, Moutong, and Poso districts.
(Uu.F001/INE/KR-BSR)

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