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Deadly hostage crisis ends in Indonesia jail: Police

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A mobile brigade policeman stands guard inside the Mobile Police Brigade (Brimob) headquarters after a hostage crisis at a high-security jail located in the compound is resolved, in Depok, south of Jakarta, Indonesia, on May 10, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

Police in Indonesia say a hostage crisis at a high-security prison on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta, has ended, three days after scores of inmates conducted “an act of terror” against guards in the detention center, killing a number of police personnel.

The deadly incident began at the jail in Depok City, close to the capital, late on Tuesday when dozens of prisoners attacked police guards.

In a press conference on Thursday, Police Commissioner General Syafruddin told reporters that five members of the country’s elite counter-terrorism force, known as Detachment, had been “sadistically” killed by prisoners during the standoff.

Four police also sustained injuries and one inmate was killed in the operation, he said.

“We have minimized the number of victims. The operation ended at 7:15,” he added, explaining that the prisoners had released another police officer whom they had taken hostage.

Later in the day, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs H. Wiranto said at a presser that all inmates involved in the hostage incident had surrendered after a police “ambush” forced the last 10 convicts to give up. He added that 155 convicted militants were involved in what he described as “an act of terror in the prison.”

“We can’t let our guard down in facing terrorism action and radicalism. This country needs stability,” Wiranto said.

The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the incident at the jail.

However, police rejected that the terror group had any role in the incident, saying that a dispute had broken out over checks by prison authorities of the prisoners’ food, which then led to the deadly standoff.

But police acknowledged that a number of inmates had recently huddled with Aman Abdurrahman, who is believed to be the ideological leader of Daesh sympathizers in the Southeast Asian country and who is being held at the same jail on terror charges.

Indonesia and neighboring Malaysia and the Philippines have geared up to confront the threats posed by Daesh militants gaining a foothold in the region.

Last year, two suspected Daesh terrorists, using pressure cookers packed with explosives, killed three police and injured a dozen of people at a Jakarta bus terminal.

In January 2016, four people were killed after four Daesh-linked terrorists carried out a gun-and-bomb attack at an intersection outside a café in central Jakarta.

The Takfiri outfit is mainly based in the Middle East, where it once held relatively large territory. At least 400 Indonesians were believed to have joined Daesh in the Middle East, fighting in Iraq and Syria. Dozens of them have returned home.

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