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Islamist prisoners kill five Indonesian counter-terrorism police

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Reuters

by Agustinus Beo Da Costa

DEPOK, Indonesia (Reuters) - Islamist militant prisoners have killed five members of an elite Indonesian counter-terrorism force at a high-security jail and were holding one of them hostage on Wednesday, police said.

One convicted terrorist had also been killed in clashes at the jail in Depok, on the outskirts of the capital Jakarta, national police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal told reporters.

Authorities were unsure how many people remained inside the prison complex.

“Five of our colleagues died ... one of our colleagues is still inside and being held hostage,” Iqbal said, adding that the hostage was reported to be safe.

It was the highest death toll suffered by the counter-terrorism police force, known as Detachment, or ‘Densus’, 88, which was set up in 2003 and received training and funding from Australia and the United States.

The squad largely broke up militant cells in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. But a recent spate of low-level attacks inspired by Islamic State prompted authorities to more than double its force to 1,300 late last year.

Chief security minister Wiranto said the incident was being treated “very carefully because it concerns national security”.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-security/islamist-prisoners-kill-five-indonesian-counter-terrorism-police-idUSKBN1I92PI