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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 15:26 GMT
Bali bomber 'preached by phone'
Mukhlas
Mukhlas is one of three bombers on death row
One of the men responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings in Indonesia has been preaching to Muslim militants by mobile phone, Indonesian police have said.

Police chief General Sutanto told Indonesian MPs that convicted bomber Mukhlas - aka Ali Ghufron - had been able to give sermons from a Bali jail.

He said a militant involved in recent unrest on Sulawesi island had heard a Mukhlas sermon to a congregation there.

Mukhlas is one of three men facing the death penalty for the 2002 attacks.

The bombs, planted at nightclubs on the island, killed 202 people, most of them foreign tourists.

'Often gave teachings'

The militant, known only as Sahal, said sermons took place in the religiously-divided Sulawesi town of Poso.

"Mukhlas, who is sentenced to death for the Bali bombings, often gave teachings from the Kerobokan prison in Bali through his handphone to the congregation in Poso," news agency Reuters quoted the police statement as saying.

It is not clear what message Mukhlas conveyed in the sermons, nor when they took place.

Observers say it is often easy to bribe corrupt prison guards in Indonesia to turn a blind eye, the agency reports.

Mukhlas has been moved, along with co-conspirators Amrozi and Imam Samudra, to a high-security jail off the Java coast.

The Bali bombings were blamed on the radical Islamic network Jemaah Islamiyah.

Bali bomb attack
The 12 October 2002 attacks left 202 people dead

Imam Samudra wrote an autobiography after his arrest for the 2002 attacks, seeking to justify his role in the bombings.

The police statement was given at a meeting between Gen Sutanto and MPs in the wake of worsening violence on Sulawesi.

Security was stepped up last month after a shoot-out that left at least 12 people dead.

Schools were closed and extra police deployed in Poso.

Sulawesi has long been the scene of violence between Christians and Muslims.

Sporadic attacks between the two sides have continued despite a peace deal signed four years ago. More than 1,000 people were killed in violence between Muslim and Christian gangs between 1998 and 2001.




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