Wednesday, November 09, 2005
BOMBER AZAHARI MAY HAVE BEEN KILLED
etro TV is reporting breaking news this evening, on an operation by anti-terrorist units at a house in Kota Batu, Malang, East Java. The station reports that a gunfight erupted between security forces and those inside the house, believed to be a terrorist group led by the Malaysian "Mad Doctor" Azahari. Dr. Azahari is number one on the most wanted list, for his alleged involvement in the two bombing attacks in Bali, as well as the Jakarta attacks on J. W. Marriott Hotel and the Australian Embassy.
According to witnesses, about 3:30 PM the gunbattle broke out followed by two large explosions inside the house which blew the roof away. One policeman was wounded by gunfire, and at least one of the gang was reported killed, said to be Dr. Azahari himself -- although this hasn't yet been confirmed from the scene. However I see that AP has put a story up, quoting Gen. Gorries Mere, the national detective deputy chief: "We suspect it is him," Mere said, citing "men in the field." The police are still not saying anything, as it sounds like the situation continues.
Metro has been speaking by phone with residents at the scene, who are being kept outside a perimeter and not allowed to return to their homes due to suspicion that more live bombs may be inside the house. It has been reported on other stations that Azahari blew himself up to avoid capture. Police came thisclose to catching Azahari two years ago in Bandung, West Java, when he fled a house on foot, mere minutes before their arrival.
Meanwhile, five arrests have been made in connection with the recent beheading atrocity against school girls in Poso, Central Sulawesi. Two more Poso students were shot and seriously wounded yesterday, their attacker reportedly captured. And an abandoned terrorist training camp has been uncovered in Maluku.
Just getting video now from the scene in Kota Batu... it looks like the whole town is out watching the show!