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Militant leader Noordin’s body sought

Malaysia wants to bring back the body of Noordin Muhammed Top, an alleged terrorist mastermind who was killed by Indonesian police on Thursday, so he can be buried in his native land, a Cabinet minister said.

world Updated: Sep 17, 2009 22:37 IST

Malaysia wants to bring back the body of Noordin Muhammed Top, an alleged terrorist mastermind who was killed by Indonesian police on Thursday, so he can be buried in his native land, a Cabinet minister said.

Noordin, a Malaysian who left the country and made Indonesia his base, was blamed for a string of deadly attacks in Indonesia. He was one of Southeast Asia’s most wanted terrorism suspects and allegedly had links to al-Qaida.

Malaysian Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the government is in touch with Indonesia on repatriating Noordin’s body once Indonesian authorities have finished identification tests.

“We will, together with his family, arrange to bring his body back in Kuala Lumpur... hopefully after they have completed all the investigations,” he said.

He said he regrets that Malaysia was not able to reform Noordin before he fled the country.

“I am sad that we were unable to rehabilitate him, that we did not have a chance to change his ... thinking ... and that he had to end up this way. But what he did was wrong. We could not condone it,” he said.

Hishammuddin said the Malaysian government played no role in today’s police raid on a hide-out in Solo town in central Indonesia, where Noordin and three other suspected militants were killed.

According to Indonesian national police Chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri, fingerprints in a police database matched the body to Noordin.