JAKARTA: Indonesia's most wanted terrorist, Santoso, has been killed in a firefight with security forces, police confirmed Tuesday (Jul 19), ending a lengthy hunt for the Islamic State (IS) group supporter.
"It's definitely Santoso," Central Sulawesi police chief Rudy Sufahriadi told AFP, after a process to identify the militant's body. He was killed in a clash on Monday on central Sulawesi island.
Santoso, whose real name is Abu Wardah, publicly supported the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group. He had been on the run for three years and was believed to have been hiding in the forests of Poso.
Luhut Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, said he had received reports that two members of the East Indonesian Mujahidin (MIT) had been killed at around 5.30pm local time on Monday in an exchange of gunfire with security forces in Tambarana village, Poso, Central Sulawesi.
One of those killed - with long hair, a mole on his face and a long beard - looked like Santoso, the MIT leader.
"It's possible, but we're still confirming the news. The features are similar (to Santoso’s), but we still cannot confirm it," Mr Luhut said on Monday.
Presidential spokesperson Johan Budi said President Joko Widodo had been informed of the latest development.
Officials said the two bodies were being evacuated from the jungle, and could only be brought to the hospital in Palu, Central Sulawesi for identification on Tuesday morning.