Indonesian militant serving 19 years escapes

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 26, 2013 at 9:08 am •  Published: April 26, 2013
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A militant serving a 19-year prison sentence for beheading three Christian schoolgirls has escaped while visiting his sick wife and is still at large, Indonesian police said Friday.

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said Basri, 36, fled from his house in the Central Sulawesi town of Poso last week when a guard who escorted him from jail to the home left him unguarded for several hours.

Basri, who like many Indonesians uses a single name, was sentenced to 19 years in jail in 2007 for the beheadings and a series of attacks that terrorized Poso, where a Muslim-Christian conflict killed at least 1,000 people from 1998 to 2002.

"When the guard came to take him back to the prison, he found that Basri was no longer at his house," Amar said. "He is still at large."

Police are searching for Basri, whom Amar described as a "dangerous militant," and are investigating why he was escorted by only one guard.

"We call on people who know his whereabouts to report to authorities immediately," Amar said.

Basri, who was arrested along with five other militants in February 2007, admitted to beheading one of the three girls in late 2005 as they walked to school along a quiet jungle path overlooking Poso.