Page last updated at 07:36 GMT, Saturday, 19 September 2009 08:36 UK

Indonesia militant confirmed dead

Noordin Top (archive image)
Noordin was blamed for a string of bombings in Indonesia

DNA tests have proven beyond doubt that Indonesia's most-wanted Islamist militant Noordin Mohamed Top is dead, police say.

The man wanted for a series of deadly attacks across the archipelago was among four killed in a raid on Thursday near Solo city in central Java.

After the raid, police had immediately identified Malaysian-born Noordin using fingerprint records.

On Saturday they said "the DNA also matches 100%".

National police spokesman Nanan Soekarna told a news conference:

"There is no doubt that he's Noordin M Top."

It is not the first time Indonesian officials have claimed Noordin is dead.

In another raid in central Java in August police had initially thought they had killed the militant, only to have forensic tests prove them wrong days later.

File pic of Indonesian policeman walking past wanted poster of Noordin Top
Born in Malaysia, fled to Indonesia after 9/11
Wanted over bombings on Bali in 2005 and other attacks
Said to have split from Jemaah Islamiah and set up new group
Main accomplice Azahari Husin killed by police in 2005
Escaped police raid in 2006 and continues to evade capture

Police said they are planning to send Noordin's body back to Malaysia as soon as possible and it would not be necessary for his family to come to Indonesia.

Noordin, 41, is believed to have been a key financier of the regional Jemaah Islamiah terror group before setting up his own more hardline splinter faction.

He is not thought to have been behind the 2002 bombings on Bali, but was allegedly involved in the blasts on the holiday island in 2005.

He was also blamed for a 2003 attack on the Marriott hotel in Jakarta that killed 12 people, and the 2004 Australian embassy bombing in the Indonesian capital.

A lull ended in July with twin suicide bomb attacks on the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta that killed nine people and injured scores of others.

On raids in Cilacap, central Java, in July, police said they found bomb-making material at an Islamic boarding school, and explosives buried in the garden of a house of Noordin's father-in-law.

Regional leaders have welcomed Noordin's death and said it could help undermine militant groups in South East Asia.

"This is a very significant result,"Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Friday.

"This man has been a mass murderer. He's been responsible for the murder of Australians," he added.

The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also congratulated Indonesia.

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