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07/20/2021 Indonesia  (International Christian Concern) – Last week, Indonesian security forces conducted a raid in Central Sulawesi province that killed two suspected members of pro-Islamic State terror group Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT). On Friday, Indonesian police announced that one of the two militants killed was the group’s second-most senior member.

The suspect was Muhammad Busra, also known as Qatar. A joint military and police task force killed him in a raid in the mountainous jungle of the Parigi Moutong regency last Sunday but misidentified him as Ahmad Gazali. The latest raid reduced the number of total MIT members to seven. MIT is one of two pro-IS groups operating in Indonesia and has targeted Christians and law enforcement with its ruthless attacks.

MIT split into two groups in May, and Qatar led one-half of the group operating in Poso. Police hope that Qatar’s death will encourage the other half of the group, led by Ali Kalora and operating in the Sigi regency, to turn themselves in to the authorities. Police have guaranteed the safety of Ali, his followers, and their families if they surrender.

However, according to Benar News, Mohammad Affandi, a researcher on terrorism at the Ruang Empat Kali Empat think-tank, said Ali’s claims that he and his men wanted to surrender should be taken with a grain of salt.

“It could be just a trick in the hope that people believe that the Poso problem can be resolved soon,” Affandi told BenarNews. He also called for the government to guarantee the security and welfare of the victims’ families who suffer from MIT’s terror.

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