Indonesian Military Helicopter Crash In Poso

Military Helicopter Crash In Poso, IndonesiaA military helicopter crash in Poso on Sunday afternoon was an accident and due to bad weather. The crash was not because of a terrorist attack, the governor said, here, Sunday evening. The helicopter crashed when trying to land at Kasiguncu airport, Poso District, Central Sulawesi, amid an extreme weather.

Commander of the Tadulako Military Regiment 132 Colonel Saiful Anwar, who led a manhunt operation for alleged terrorist Santoso, was killed together with 12 other officers in the accident. The jungles in Poso mountainous areas are known to be the hiding places of long sought Santoso and his men. From early 2015 until January 9, 2016, joint police and military forces had launched security operations dubbed Seagull Maleo I to IV involving thousands of personnel, as well as warships and jet fighters in Poso.

Following the conclusion of the Seagull Maleo operations, the authorities have launched another security operation termed Tinombala to continue their hunt for Santoso and his men in the jungles of Poso, Central Sulawesi Province, since January 10, 2016, for two months. At least three alleged terrorists, comprising two Chinese Uighur, and one Indonesian, were shot dead in Poso earlier this week.

Military Helicopter Crash In Poso, IndonesiaAn Indonesian Army helicopter crashed in Poso regency, Central Sulawesi, at 6:20 p.m. local time on Sunday. Thirteen passengers and crew members reportedly lost their lives in the incident, which occurred in the village of Pattiro Bajo, Poso Pesisir Selatan district.

Military personnel killed in the incident include Central Sulawesi Tadulako 132 Military Resort Command (Korem) chief Col. Saiful Anwar, Palu Military Police Command (POM) commander Lt. Col. Teddy S. Prapat, National Intelligence Agency (BIN) officer Col. Ontang, Military Intelligence Division (BAIS) officer Col. Heri Setiaji, Korem 132 information chief Maj. Faqih Rasyid and Capt. Yanto, chief of the health division at the 1307 Poso Military District Command (Kodim).

Other victims are Second Pvt. Kiki, the assistant of the Korem 132 commander, and six Army aviators, namely Capt. Agung, First Lieut. Wirahadi, Second Lieut. Tito, First Sgt. Bagus, Second Sgt. Karmin and First Pvt. Bangkit. Poso Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ronny Suseno confirmed the incident. Ronny said the Bell 412 EP helicopter had flown from Watutau village in Lore Piore district, Poso regency, to Kasiguncu Airport in Poso, where a joint police-military team was pursuing members of the East Indonesia Mujahiddin (MIT) terrorist group led by Indonesia’s most wanted fugitive Santoso aka Abu Wardah.

“The location of the helicopter crash is only around 1 to 1,5 kilometers from Kasiguncu Airport, Poso,” said Ronny. He added that weather conditions in Poso had been bad and suspected the helicopter had been struck by lightning. Indonesian Military and National Police personnel were deployed to the crash site and 13 ambulances readied to bring the bodies of the victims to the Bhayangkara Police hospital in Palu, Central Sulawesi.
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