JAKARTA, Indonesia Indonesia anti-terror police shot and killed five suspected Islamist militants in eastern Indonesia, the latest assault against a network of extremists behind deadly attacks on officers, authorities said Saturday.
The men were killed in raids on Friday night and Saturday morning on the remote island of Sumbawa, police spokesman Lt. Col. Agus Rianto and state news agency Antara reported. They followed the killings of two suspected militants earlier Friday on Sulawesi island, also in the east of the country.
Antara reported that the Sumbawa operations were targeting militants who had fled the Makassar. Police said those victims were behind the recent killings of two police officers in Poso district, a long established hub for Islamist militants and the scene of a vicious war between Muslims and Christians in 2001 and 2002.
Rianto said the men “were endangering the lives of officers” when they were shot but gave no more details.
Indonesia, a mostly Muslim country in Southeast Asia, has struggled against Islamist militants since its independence.
Suspected militants have killed at least 10 police officers in incidents around the country this year.