Indonesia arrests three militant suspects linked to IS hinh anh 1Andi Akbar (left), a lawyer from a group called the Muslim Legal Team, sits with the wives of suspected militants Mohamad Arkam and Adi Saputra during a news conference in Palu, Indonesia, on Sept. 4. 
(Photo: Bernama)

Jakarta, September 5 (VNA) – Indonesian authorities on September 4 arrested three people on suspicion of involvement with the Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT), a militant group linked to the self-claimed Islamic State (IS).

The Indonesian national police’s anti-terrorism unit Densus 88 arrested two construction workers, one of them is 21 and the other 25, at their rented home in Palu, the capital of Central Sulawesi, said provincial police chief Brig. Gen. Lukman Wahyu Haryanto.

A day earlier, another 35-year-old suspect was also detained and questioned by the unit, he added.

Lukman said all three men were suspected of having links to the MIT, whose members have sworn allegiance to the IS group and has been active in the Poso area of Sulawesi Island in recent years.

Police seized machetes, knives, cellphones, and an air gun from the suspects’ homes, he noted.

Authorities said MIT’s overall strength had been reduced to seven fighters, including its leader Ali Kalora, following recent killings of other members of the militant group.

Earlier in July, Indonesia extended Operation Tinombala, a joint military-police task force that has targeted MIT militants on Sulawesi since January 2016, by three months.

Tinombala replaced another joint operation to pursue the militants on Sulawesi, Camar Maleo, which began in 2015. –VNA