Indonesia: Six supporters of hardline cleric killed in shootout

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Dec 07, 2020, 04:21 PM(IST)

Officers show evidence of attacks by suspected supporters of Indonesian hardline cleric Rizieq Shihab, at Polda Metro Jaya, Jakarta, Indonesia, December 7, 2020, in this photo taken by Antara Foto Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

A shootout in Indonesia left six supporters of an Islamic cleric dead. The shooutout of cleric - Rizieq Shihab’s followers has raised concerns of a potential conflict between Indonesian authorities and Islamist groups in the country

A shootout in Indonesia left six supporters of an Islamic cleric dead. The shooutout of cleric - Rizieq Shihab’s followers has raised concerns of a potential conflict between Indonesian authorities and Islamist groups in the country.

The police chief of Jakarta - Fadil Imran said that the shootout happened after midnight on a highway. Reportedly, the cleric’s supporters had attacks a police vehicle with firearms, a samurai sword, ans sickles.

Also read: Indonesia summons UK envoy over Papua separatist leader

After the shootout, the police displayed the weapons during a news conference. Currently, the police are investigating the cleric for flouting COVID-19 norms, after several gatherings to celebrate the end of his self-exile from Saudi Arabia took place last month.

Also read: Indonesia receives first COVID vaccine from China's Sinovac

After failing to appear for questioning last week, Rizieq was supposed to appear for police questioning on Monday.

A spokesperson for the Islamic Defender’s Front (FPI) - Munarman, who also leads the the group led by Rizieq denied that their supporters were armed, adding that the cleric and his family were en route a prayer event, where they were attacked by “unknown thugs”.

Also read: Indonesia minister arrested over COVID aid bribes

He also referred to the shootout as “extrajudicial killings”. In a statement, the Indonesian Police Watch said that the conflicting accounts given of the incident should be investigated by an independent fact-checking team.

In 2017, the 55-year-old cleric left Indonesia after facing charges of pornography and insulting state ideology, after which he went on an exile in Saudi Arabia.

Read in App