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Indonesia police say DNA confirms key militant dead - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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JAKARTA, (Reuters) – Forensic tests on the DNA from the body of a man killed during a raid by Indonesian police this week confirm he was Noordin Mohammad Top, one of Asia’s most wanted militants, police said on Saturday.

Malaysian-born Top, suspected mastermind of deadly suicide July bombings of the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta, died on Thursday in a shootout during a raid on a house near Solo in Central Java.

“There is no doubt that he’s Noordin M Top,” national police spokesman Nanan Soekarna told a news conference.

Hours after the raid, police had identified Top based on fingerprint records held by Malaysian police, but Soekarna said on Saturday “the DNA also matches 100 percent”.

The official also held up a photograph of Top’s bearded face taken after his death to show the match with those on police file.

Top had eluded authorities for years. In a raid in Central Java last month some police initially thought they had killed the militant only to have forensic tests prove that wrong days later.

DNA results matched samples from three of Top’s children from Cilacap in Central Java and Malaysia, said Brigadier General Eddy Saparwoko, head of Indonesia’s disaster victim identification unit.

Top had a wife in Malaysia before he fled the country and also took at least one more wife while on the run in Indonesia.

Authorities planned to send Top’s body to Malaysia soon and it would not be necessary for his family there to come to Indonesia, Soekarna said.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy and the world’s most populous Muslim country, had been under intense pressure to capture or kill Top ahead of a planned visit by U.S. President Barack Obama in November.

Top, who set up a violent splinter group of regional militant network Jemaah Islamiah, was blamed for attacks in Bali and Jakarta that killed scores of Westerners and Indonesians.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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