Indonesian anti-terror squad criticized for deaths

anit terror squadJAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s U.S.-funded police anti-terror squad has killed seven suspected militants recently, reviving allegations that the force is not trying to take suspects alive – a trend that appears to be fueling the very extremism the predominantly Muslim country is trying to counter.

Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said Sunday that no shots were fired against officers during three related raids Friday and Saturday in eastern Indonesia, but that the suspects in at least one of the locations had explosives that were “ready” to be detonated. He said that officers from the anti-terror squad, known as Densus 88, had followed procedures because the suspects were endangering their lives, but gave few details.

Haris Azhar, chairman of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence, an independent human rights group, said it appeared that the suspected militants were victims of “extrajudicial killings” and called for an independent investigation. He said Densus 88’s tactics were driving militancy because they added to feelings among some Muslims that they were under siege.

“I’m worried about the deteriorating public sympathy for police who continue to use violence,” he said, alleging that some suspects in the past have been shot in front of their children. “There has never been…


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