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01/08/2021 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – On January 6, two suspected Islamic militants with alleged links to Indonesian suicide bombers who attacked a southern Philippines church in 2019, were killed by police in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province, according to officials.

The two suspects, who were part of Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Islamic State (IS)-linked Indonesian militant group, violently resisted the arrest and were killed during an exchange of fire.

“Two people identified as MRS, 46, and SA, 23, died because at the time of their arrest, both of them fought back using a machete and an air rifle,” police spokesman Ahmad Ramadhan said in a statement. A police report seen by Benar News named the dead suspects as Mohammad Rizaldy S and Sanjai Azis. Azis is reportedly Rizaldy S’ son-in-law.

The two slain suspects and their relatives had tried to join Islamic State in Syria in 2016, but were stopped at the airport in Jakarta, according to Inspector General Merdisyam, the police chief of South Sulawesi.

Makassar police chief Witnu Urip Laksana told Reuters the suspects were involved in the bombings of a church on southern Jolo Island in a restive, predominantly Muslim region of the Catholic-majority Philippines. The two Indonesian suicide bombers were among the 20 people who were killed in the attack, which was by far the deadliest suicide bombings in the Philippines.

Police said that the pair sent money to the suicide bombers, although no details on the alleged transfer was provided.

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