Indonesian police authorities have arrested three people with suspected links to Deash Takfiri militant group during an operation in the Southeast Asian nation’s Central Sulawesi Province.
“This morning, my personnel reported that they had arrested three more people in Tayawa village,” Sulawesi police chief Brigadier General Idham Azis said on Thursday.
Azis added that the three suspects are believed to be the followers of militant leader, Abu Wardah, aka Santoso, who is hiding in the mountainous forests around Poso town in the province.
Security officials say Santoso and around 31 of his followers have pledged allegiance to Daesh.
At least 400 Indonesians have reportedly joined Daesh terror group in the two conflict-plagued Middle Eastern countries of Iraq and Syria. Around 70 of the extremists have returned to Indonesia after wreaking havoc in Syria.
According to a report issued earlier this month by the New York-based intelligence consultancy, Soufan Group, between 27,000 and 31,000 foreign nationals have flocked to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside Daesh extremists or other foreign-sponsored terrorist groups.
Daesh militants control some parts of Iraq and Syria. The terrorists have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations, against all Iraqi and Syrian communities, such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians.
The conflict in Syria, which flared in March 2011, has claimed the lives of more than 260,000 people and left over one million injured.