Gunmen who killed a police officer during a February 6th firefight in the mountains of Central Sulawesi belonged to a terrorist network led by Santoso, Indonesia's most wanted Islamic militant, investigators said.
Officer Putu Satria Wibawa, a member of the Poso Mobile Brigade (Brimob) corps, was fatally shot near a suspected militant training ground.
"The gun fight occurred at the Tounca village, Poso District, not far from the militant camp. The incident happened while the police were patrolling the area," Central Sulawesi Police Chief Ari Dono Sukmanto told Khabar Southeast Asia in a phone interview.
In the skirmish police shot dead one of two suspected militants, Ari said, arresting the second man, identified as Fandi. Police had yet to identify the dead suspect.
"We seized a rifle and explosive materials," Ari added.
"We do not want more blood"
Central Sulawesi has a difficult history. From 1998 to 2002, as many as 1,000 people died in sectarian-based bloodletting between Muslims and Christians. More recently, militants have been operating training camps in the area and have targeted local police in serial attacks.
In late 2012, militants gunned down six officers in separate shootings around Poso. And on June 3rd, 2013, militants launched a suicide bomb attack on a Poso police station in which no one was hurt.
Santoso, who heads the Eastern Indonesia Mujahideen (MIT) police blame for the bombing, is believed to be operating from the province's jungles.
Poso resident Muhammad Priyanto urged authorities to do more to safeguard the district's people.
"Santoso is one of the most wanted terrorists in Indonesia, and he is currently still on the loose, Priyanto, 33, told Khabar.
Priyanto and other locals who endured religious violence in the past are now afraid of terrorism, Priyanto said.
"I witnessed many of those killings and when I remember it, I still feel traumatised," he said. "Poso needs extra security."
For his part, Poso cleric Syariffudin Ahkmad condemned Wibawa's killing, saying it was important for locals to be vigilant. The district remains fragile and extremists could use terrorist attacks to re-ignite sectarian tensions, he told Khabar.
"We do not want more blood," Syariffudin said. "We have sacrificed enough."