Indonesian authorities on Saturday confirmed the killing of Noordin Mohammad Top, a key leader of a suspected Southeast Asian terrorist outfit. Noordin, a Malaysian national, was killed in a shoot-out with the Indonesian security forces a few days ago; and his death was hailed across the region.

Striking a cautionary note, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in Jakarta that the terrorist outfit was not yet fully destroyed. Several governments and experts across Southeast Asia identified Noordin as the leader of a group that broke away from Jemaah Islmaiyah, the suspected Southeast Asian affiliate of Al-Qaeda. Noordin and his associates were blamed for a series of terrorist attacks in Indonesia in recent years.

A Minister in neighbouring Malaysia noted how “sad” it was that a Malaysian national had turned to terrorist ways.

In a message of congratulations to Mr. Yudhoyono, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: “The successful raid by the Indonesian police ... is a significant achievement that will make Indonesia and the region safer. Although terrorist groups linked to Noordin Mohammad Top will be weakened by his death, they still pose a threat to our countries and the region. Singapore will continue to work closely with Indonesia and other regional governments to combat terrorism.”

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