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Terrorist inmate, 5 anti-terror officers dead in Indonesia prison riot

Armed inmates still holding policeman hostage at maximum security lock-up outside Jakarta

A terrorist inmate and five anti-terror police officers were killed after inmates held officers hostage, sparking clashes overnight at a maximum-security police lock-up outside Jakarta.

Another anti-terror police officer was still being held by armed inmates at about 6.30pm local time yesterday. His condition was not known.

"Negotiations are ongoing. As part of tactics, we don't set a deadline. We hope to reach an agreement," the chief spokesman, Inspector-General Setyo Wasisto, told reporters at a 6pm press conference.

He said the inmates still had weapons they had taken from a storeroom in the facility.

The inmate who was killed was identified as Beni Samsu Trisno alias Abu Ibrahim Syamsurela. The 31-year-old was arrested last October in Kampar, Riau province.

Police deployed reinforcements from the military to the detention centre at the headquarters of the police mobile brigade (Brimob) in Kelapa Dua, an area in West Java province that borders Jakarta. The road outside the Brimob headquarters was blocked, while stores, restaurants and other business activities in the vicinity were told to close early for the day.

At around 10pm on Tuesday, a mob took control of parts of Brimob's detention facility, police said. At least six assault rifles and five pistols were taken from a storeroom used for confiscated items from past raids, a police source told The Straits Times yesterday.

The source said the mayhem was sparked when inmate Wawan Kurniawan alias Abu Afif, a member of the Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) terrorist group, became furious that guards would not allow visiting family members to give him food on Tuesday.

Brigadier-General Muhammad Iqbal, another spokesman, confirmed the clashes were triggered by a misunderstanding when officers required the meals to be inspected.

At around 8pm on Tuesday, Wawan incited other inmates to try to break free. A group of five to 10 inmates in a cell applied pressure on their cell door and managed to break free. Most were supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

They stormed into an interrogation room, snatched an officer's weapon and beat her up.

The group went into the storeroom and took the weapons. They attacked other officers and held them hostage for hours.

Several inmates had mobile phones and posted videos of the stand-off on the Telegram messaging app.

Police have started investigations to determine if they used mobile phones previously smuggled in or took the phones of the officers held hostage.

The lock-up houses radical Islamic cleric Aman Abdurrahman, the founder of JAD, whose trial is expected to see a verdict passed in the coming weeks.

Aman, who pledged allegiance to ISIS, was charged on Feb 15 with inciting others to commit terror attacks, including an attack in Jakarta in 2016 that left four dead.

Former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is serving a controversial two-year jail term for blasphemy, is also being held in the facility.

WORLD