A clash between officers and inmates broke out at the National Police's Mobile Brigade headquarters' detention center in Depok (West Java), not far from Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta, on Tuesday evening (08/05). Reportedly, five officers and one inmate have been killed. One officer is still being held hostage. Several other officers are being treated in a local hospital. Although still unconfirmed it is believed that these rebellious inmates are convicted Islamist militants.
This high security detention center in Depok had been one of the targets of Islamic terrorists four days earlier. A group of Islamist militants planned to attack this detention center as well as other police stations across Depok. However, police arrested three of the militants (in Bogor) before they could carry out their plans. However, there seems to exist no link between the failed terrorist attack and the clash between inmates and police at the Depok detention center.
Muhammad Iqbal, National Police Spokesman, told reporters that the clash was started by a trivial matter related to food from families. Inmates then attacked guards and managed to break through an iron gate to reach the ammunition room inside the detention center.
But a link to Islamist terrorists was made after a publication of the Islamic State group's Amaq News Agency. Amaq News published a report saying the clash was one between its fighters and Indonesia's counter-terrorism squad. However, it is unclear whether Islamic militants participated in the clash. This detention center does house convicted IS militants but Indonesian police are yet to provide any information on the background of the rebellious attackers.
On early Thursday morning (10/05) all 155 inmates surrendered after a special police team started to storm the prison. Furthermore, two suspected terrorists were shot dead by police as they tried to approach the prison in an apparent attempt to help the convicted inmates. One policeman was stabbed to death.
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Interestingly enough, former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (better known as Ahok) is also serving his two-year sentence (for blasphemy) at this center. A family member said that Ahok is safe and not affected by the riot.