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World Deadly jail riot near Indonesian capital is claimed by Islamic state

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A deadly riot involving terrorism suspects inside a high-security detention center outside Indonesia’s capital stretched into Thursday morning, officials said, and the media arm of the Islamic State claimed its loyalists were behind the uprising.

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Deadly jail riot near Indonesian capital is claimed by Islamic state play

Deadly jail riot near Indonesian capital is claimed by Islamic state

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The police said that five guards and one detainee had been killed in the riot.

Gen. Mohammad Iqbal, a National Police spokesman, told reporters that the riot erupted late Tuesday at the detention center, which is inside the headquarters of the National Police Mobile Brigade, a paramilitary unit, in Depok, West Java province. He said at least six detainees were still holed up in the compound.

“We’re still negotiating with them; we’re still talking to them,” he said.

Iqbal said the riot had started in the section of the detention center reserved for terrorist suspects and convicted terrorists.

“We have isolated them into one block, so the situation is under control,” Iqbal said.

Early Thursday, the last police officer being held hostage by detainees was released in exchange for food, said a police spokesman, Inspector General Setyo Wasisto.

Even as the riot was unfolding, the Islamic State’s propaganda arm uploaded videos and photos that it claimed were from inside the detention center, showing executed hostages as well as detainees brandishing weapons and raising the black flag of the Islamic State and pledging allegiance to the group’s leader.

Iqbal denied the Islamic State was behind the riot.

“The trigger is trivial: complaints about food,” he said.

There was a riot at the same police detention center in November, when terrorist detainees fought with guards during a search for contraband, including cellphones. They took photos and video of themselves brandishing Islamic State flags.

On Wednesday evening, police officers wearing flak jackets and helmets and carrying assault rifles were still surrounding the compound, which lies about 15 miles south of Jakarta, the capital.

Nearly 150 detainees awaiting trial on terrorism charges, as well as convicts awaiting transfer to prison — most of whom are linked to the Islamic State — are among those held in the detention center, according to the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, a Jakarta-based research organization.

In February, the institute called the concentration of so many Islamic State supporters at the detention center “a disaster waiting to happen.”

“We said it was A: overcrowded, and B: there was no effort at all to counsel the newly arrived detainees, and they were almost all pro-ISIS,” said Sidney Jones, the institute’s director, using an alternative name for the Islamic State.

Jones, a prominent terrorism analyst, said the November riot was a warning to authorities, who then began moving the most violent or radicalized convicts on terrorism charges to the maximum security prison island of Nusakambangan, off the south coast of Java Island.

The biggest attack by pro-Islamic State Indonesian militants here came in January 2016, when a group of four men attacked a police post and shopping center in Jakarta with homemade guns, bombs and suicide vests. The four attackers were killed along with four civilians and 23 people were injured.

Last week, police in West Java arrested three men who were accused of planning a suicide bomb attack on the police headquarters where the detention center is.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

JOE COCHRANE © 2018 The New York Times

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