A counter-terrorism unit raiding a militant hideout in central Indonesia has killed two men suspected by police of involvement in twin bombings at a Philippines church in 2019 that killed more than 20 people.
Police said in a statement the raid in Makassar in South Sulawesi by the Densus 88 unit led to a fatal shootout with two suspected militants who resisted arrest.
Makassar police chief Witnu Urip Laksana told Reuters separately that the suspects were involved in the bombings of the cathedral on Jolo island in a restive, predominantly Muslim region of the Catholic-majority Philippines.
Police carried out “firm and calculated” action against the two suspects, Witnu said.
Police suspect the men were members of the Islamic State-inspired Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), which has carried out a series of attacks in Indonesia.
Authorities in the Philippines concluded that the January 2019 church attack was a suicide bombing by an Indonesian couple, with the help of a faction of local group Abu Sayyaf, which has pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
More than 100 people were also wounded in the incident, which was among the first and so far deadliest suicide bombings in the Philippines, where such attacks were almost unheard of until 2018.
The country’s Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.