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September 20, 2009

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Death of militant confirmed

DNA tests on the body of a man killed during a raid by Indonesian police last week confirmed he was Noordin Mohammad Top, one of Asia's most wanted militants, police said yesterday.

Malaysian-born Top, the suspected mastermind behind the suicide bomb attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta in July, 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," police spokesman Nanan Soekarna said. Hours after the raid, police identified Top based on fingerprint records, but Soekarna said yesterday: "The DNA also matches 100 percent."

The official held up a photograph of Top taken after his death to show it matched those on police files.

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


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