Six people affiliated with Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab were shot dead in the early hours of this morning, police say, after they attacked police personnel on the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road.
In a press conference at noon today, Jakarta Metro Police Chief Fadil Imran said 10 people, said to be supporters of Rizieq, attacked a group of police officers who are investigating a case involving the firebrand cleric at around 12:30am at the 50 kilometer point on the toll road.
Fadil said the officers were in a car and on their way to investigate a tip that crowds of Rizieq’s supporters were going to prevent the cleric from being questioned by the police. Rizieq was summoned for questioning at 10am today, in relation to recent mass gatherings held in his honor. He had failed to fulfill multiple police summons in the past couple of weeks.
The 10 assailants were split into two cars, which they used to flank and crash into the police car until it came to a stop. The assailants then attacked the officers with firearms, a katana, and sickles.
“The officers, whose lives were under threat, carried out a stern and measured approach against the 10 people believed to be supporters of [Rizieq]. Six of them died,” Fadil said, adding that the other four are now fugitives.
It’s not yet clear how closely linked the alleged assailants were to Rizieq. The police suffered no casualties during the assault.
Fadil warned Rizieq not to evade law enforcement and to face questioning or face serious consequences.
FPI also issued a press release today, claiming that the six victims, who were Rizieq’s personal bodyguards, were abducted by thugs early this morning. The release made no mention of their reported deaths.