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Official: Bali bombing mastermind dead

Policemen carry a body during a raid on terror suspects in Pamulang, Indonesia, on Tuesday.
Policemen carry a body during a raid on terror suspects in Pamulang, Indonesia, on Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Indonesian President Yudhoyono announces death during Australia visit
  • NEW: Indonesian media had been reporting Dulmatin's death in a shootout
  • Dulmatin is one of Indonesia's most wanted terrorists
  • Dulmatin had a $10 million bounty on his head, according to U.S. State Department
RELATED TOPICS
  • Indonesia
  • Terrorism

Jakarta, Indonesia (CNN) -- Indonesian authorities killed the suspected mastermind behind the deadly 2002 Bali bombings, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Wednesday.

Yudhoyono announced the death of terrorist Dulmatin while speaking with reporters during a visit to Australia. The Bali bombings killed 202 people.

"I can announce to you that, after a successful police raid against the terrorists hiding out in Jakarta yesterday, we can confirm that one of those that was killed was Mr. Dulmatin, one of the top southeast Asian terrorists that we have been looking for," Yudhoyono said.

Dulmatin, one of Indonesia's most wanted terrorists, had several aliases, including Joko Pitoyo. He was an electronics specialist who trained in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and had a $10 million bounty on his head, according to the U.S. State Department.

He was a senior member of the al Qaeda-linked terror network Jemaah Islamiyah.

Indonesian media had been reporting that Dulmatin was killed in a shootout in Pamulang, Banten province, on Tuesday.

The raid was linked to ongoing security sweeps in Aceh province in northern Sumatra. Police have arrested 15 suspected militants, and one has been killed. Three police officers have died in the raids.

Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf said that, for a year now, he has known about a militant training camp in the province. He said militants were seeking to establish camps similar to those run by Jemaah Islamiyah in the the southern Philippines.

The group has a stated goal of creating an idealized Islamic state comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the southern Philippines and southern Thailand, according to GlobalSecurity.org, a public policy Web site that provides background on defense issues.

Yusuf told reporters that militants chose Aceh because it is a predominantly Muslim province that imposes shariah, or Islamic, law and because a rebellion -- the Free Aceh Movement -- had taken root there.

Indonesia's current anti-terrorism efforts come just days before President Barack Obama's planned visit to the world's most-populous Muslim nation.

 
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