Bali Bombing Mastermind Killed

JAKARTA
AFP, Antara, The Bali Times

THE PRESIDENT has confirmed that a suspected Bali bombing mastermind with a US$10-million bounty on his head had been killed, as Australia lauded Indonesia’s drive to fight extremists.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told a luncheon in Australia’s parliament house that Al-Qaeda-trained bomber Dulmatin was killed during a raid by counter-terrorism forces in the Indonesian capital on Tuesday.

“We can confirm that one of those that were killed was Dulmatin, one of the top Southeast Asian terrorists that we have been looking for,” Yudhoyono said in Canberra on Wednesday.

An Indonesian police source had said officers believed that Dulmatin was among three people killed in two raids in Jakarta, but had refused to formally identify the dead until forensic tests had been carried out.

Dulmatin was a leader of the Southeast Asian militant group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). The news comes as US President Barack Obama, whose country had offered the $10-million reward, prepares to visit Indonesia and Australia.

Dulmatin was accused of helping JI plan and carry out the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists, including 88 Australians.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd praised Indonesia’s efforts to dismantle terror networks as the two nations also vowed to step up their joint fight against people-smuggling after several high-seas standoffs.

Just before Yudhoyono confirmed Dulmatin’s death, Rudd congratulated the president on the raids in Jakarta.

“This has been a very professional operation by the Indonesian security forces and it comes on top of other successful operations in recent times,” Rudd told a joint news conference.

“The breakthroughs which Indonesia has made in undermining various terrorist networks have been significant.”

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