JAKARTA-- Operation Tinombela, conducted jointly in Poso, Central Sulawesi, by the Indonesian National Police (Polri) and Military Forces (TNI) to capture and eliminate the East Indonesia Muhajidin (MIT) terrorist group, was extended until Dec 29.

This step is part of the efforts of the Police and Military to capture some seven members of the MIT terrorist group that remain at large in the jungles of Central Sulawesi.

Police Chief of the Operations Division Assistant Inspector General M. Iriawan remarked in Poso that Operation Tinombala 2017 has again been extended for the next three months until Dec 29.

During his visit to Poso as part of a series of the Analysis and Evaluation of Troops (Anev), Iriawan noted that Operation Tinombala 2017 will end on Sept 29, as scheduled, but it was later found necessary to extend it.

According to Iriawan, their presence at the Anev was crucial to understanding the shortcomings and obstacles faced by troops on the field and to brainstorm on why terrorists on the wanted list of people have not yet been captured.

"We hope the extension of Operation Tinombala until Dec 29 would help to end it all. If terrorists still on the wanted list do not want to be dealt with firmly, please surrender," Iriawan emphasized.

Operation Tinombala was officially launched in 2015, and in July 2016, the Indonesian military and police had succeeded in killing Santoso, the leader of the MIT radical armed group in Poso, in a gunfight but National Police Chief Tito Karnavian continued the operation to safeguard the region from the remaining members of the group.

Although Santos was killed, the operation Tinombala Task Force has continued to crush the terrorist group in Poso to entirely eliminate terrorist activities and to anticipate the emergence of new terror cells.

The Tinombala operation, involving a special team of 3,000 military and police personnel, was formed in line with President Joko Widodo's directive to wipe out the Santoso group, which had made Poso a terror hotbed for years.

Some 1,500 joint police and military personnel will be part of the extended operations.

Some 153 personnel, part of the Operation Tinombala, had received promotions last April for their dedication to the state.


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