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Indonesian police kill suspect linked to cathedral attack

Shooting follows arrest of 31 people connected to suicide bombing at cathedral in South Sulawesi on Palm Sunday

Indonesian police kill suspect linked to cathedral attack

Members of Indonesia's Mobile Brigade Corps (Brimob) paramilitary unit participate in an anti-terror drill in Jantho, Aceh province, on April 6. Indonesian police say they shot dead a suspected terrorist they believe was involved in a cathedral bombing in South Sulawesi province. (Photo: Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP)

Indonesian police have shot dead a suspected terrorist they believe was connected to a suicide bombing at a Catholic cathedral in Makassar in South Sulawesi province on Palm Sunday.

The police anti-terror squad Densus 88 shot dead the 42-year-old man, who was not named, during a raid on his home in Makassar, the provincial capital, on April 15.

The shooting followed the arrests in several cities over the past two weeks of 31 other suspects linked to the attack. Among them was the alleged bomb maker.

South Sulawesi police spokesman E. Zulpan said the dead suspect and those arrested were from the Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) network, a terror group affiliated to Islamic State, and were part of a cell the cathedral bombers — a married couple — were also members of.

The couple, who had only been married for six months, attacked the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in Makassar on March 28, killing themselves and leaving at least 21 people injured. 

Zulpan said the suspect shot on April 15 had previously served a three-year jail sentence for a terror-related offense.

In a situation where the suspect is armed and potentially dangerous, this use of force is regretfully the only option

National police spokesman Ahmad Ramadhan said the suspect was linked to the suicide bombing at the cathedral but declined to give further details.

He said the suspect was shot because he was armed with two machetes when police tried to arrest him and posed a threat.

Petrus Selestinus, a Catholic layman and chairman of a lawyers’ group, said he regretted the shooting but police had to put their own safety first  

“In a situation where the suspect is armed and potentially dangerous, this use of force is regretfully the only option,” he told UCA News.

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