Suspected militants kill 4 people in Indonesia’s Poso district, police launches manhunt

Palu: Five suspected militants killed four people in an Indonesian village on Tuesday, beheading one of them, officials said.

The attackers also burned a motorcycle that belonged to one of the victims in Kalemago village in Central Sulawesi province’s Poso district, they said.

A witness said the attackers were believed to be members of the East Indonesia Mujahideen group, Central Sulawesi spokesperson Didik Supranoto said. He said police and military officers are searching for the perpetrators.

It was unclear why the villagers were targeted.

In November, members of East Indonesia Mujahideen killed four people and burned seven houses in a village in Sigi district.

Security operations in Central Sulawesi have been intensified in recent months to try to capture East Indonesia Mujahideen members. The group’s former leader, Abu Wardah Santoso, was killed in a shootout with security forces in 2016.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, has conducted a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since bombings on the tourist island of Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.

Attacks on foreigners have been largely replaced by smaller, less deadly strikes targeting the government, police and anti-terrorism forces.

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