2nd Civilian Slain Amid Antiterror Operations

Banda Aceh, TAG. The ongoing police paramilitary operations here against suspected militants have claimed another civilian life as the number of suspects charged under antiterrorism laws rose to 14 on Thursday. 

Maimun, chief of Muenasah Tunong in Aceh Besar, said on Thursday that villager Nubari, 55, had been accidentally shot and killed during an exchange of gunfire between officers from the National Police’s elite Mobile Brigade ( Brimob) and suspected members of the armed group on Wednesday evening. 

Nubari’s death comes days after a police shot and killed Kamaruddin, 37, who had been on his way home with three friends after fishing in the Krueng Lintang river.
National Police said on Thursday they had dispatched internal affairs officers to Aceh Besar to investigate the shootings. 

Kamaruddin’s death on Feb. 22 occurred during police operations to capture suspected militants in an armed group conducting paramilitary training activities in the Jalin Jantho region of Aceh Besar. 

Police arrested four suspects that day and have since taken 10 more into custody. 

All 14 have been charged under antiterrorism laws, National Police spokesman Edward Aritonang said on Thursday. 

“We have been able to prove that they were planning terrorist acts,” he told reporters. 

Police were investigating whether the suspects, all Indonesians but not all from Aceh, were part of the Malaysian-born terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah, he said. 

Police also said they were on the verge of capturing another suspect early on Wednesday morning when he allegedly pulled a gun on officers at a security checkpoint and was immediately gunned down. 

Nubari was shot and killed on Wednesday, Maimun said, soon after heading to a rice field to check on his harvest. Maimun said Brimob officers had arrived three days earlier at the village of Meunasah Tunong to hunt for members of the armed group, and had been conducting patrols in the area after a tip indicated the presence of suspected militants. 

On Wednesday, police began an intensive search in the village of Bayu, which is close to Meunasah Tunong. Maimun guided Brimob officers into Bayu, and warned villagers to be careful as police would be going through the rice fields.
“Suddenly I heard gunfire, lots and lots of it. Police who earlier were walking by my side, were suddenly running. The gunfire lasted for a full five minutes non-stop,” Maimun told the Jakarta Globe, adding that he was sure the gunfire was coming from “two opposing directions.” 

Nubari, who happened to be standing only 20 meters from Maimun, fell to the ground, dead. 

“He was shot in the head. I do not know who shot him dead,” Maimun said, adding that the victim was survived by his wife and three children. His body was evacuated to the nearest hospital and later taken to his home. 

“This is a tragedy for our village even though we had anticipated the risk of such an incident happening,” Maimun said, adding that Brimob and antiterrorism unit Densus 88 were still conducting searches in the area. 

Two prominent rights groups, the Aceh chapter of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Pidie district chapter of the Center for Human Rights Assistance (PB HAM), on Wednesday called for police to end their military operations to keep civilian casualties from rising.[]
2nd Civilian Slain Amid Antiterror Operations 2nd Civilian Slain Amid Antiterror Operations Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on March 05, 2010 Rating: 5

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