Poso, C Sulawesi (Antara News) -- The battle exercise of the Swift Reaction Strike Unit (PPRC) of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) in Poso ended on April 17, but 600 personnel of the Army Strategic Command (Kostrad) will remain there.

"The exercise got over today (Friday), but 600 of my officers will stay here to support the territorial development operations under the authority of the Pangdam VII/Wirabuana regional military command," Commander of the Kostrads Division II Major General Bambang Haryanto said here on Friday.

The stay of the 600 Kostrad personnel in the district in Central Sulawesi was extended at the request of the community, he stated.

During discussions with local officials, prominent figures, religious leaders, and university students, they asked for the extension of the battle field, which they deem very useful, he added.

"Community members are worried that with the end of the three-week PPRC combat training, the terrorists will return to the forests in Poso," the major general remarked.

He noted that during the war exercise, the hideouts and training sites of the terror suspects were discovered, and that they were no longer there.

Furthermore, Commander of the Pangdam VII/Wirabuana Regional Military Command Major General Bachtiar pointed out that during their territorial operations, military officers will carry out social activities such renovations of houses, installment of water pipelines, opening of new farming areas, and agricultural and plantation training.

The 600 personnel of the Kostrad and members of the Infantry Battalion in Poso will participate in the territorial operations for six months.

"No combat exercise will be carried out anymore, but social activities to improve the welfare of the local community and voluntary security activities by TNI personnel and Poso residents will continue," he affirmed.

The PPCR battle exercise in Poso carried out from March 31 till April 17 involved some 3,500 military personnel and the deployment of fighter jets, warships and tanks, as well as live ammunition such as missiles.

As many as 20 wanted terrorists were believed to be hiding in the forests of Poso. They kept relocating from one forest hill to another, covering an area of around 40 square kilometers.

Military officers surrounded and attacked the terrorists bases in the mountainous and coastal area. They now believe that the terror suspects have left Poso.




(L.*SYS/A/KR-BSR/S012) 18-04-2015 23:18:06

Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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