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Jakarta Post

Three more people killed in tribal clashes in Timika

  • Nethy Dharma Somba

    The Jakarta Post

Jayapura   /   Thu, March 13, 2014   /  09:46 am

Three more people were killed in communal tribal clashes in Timika, the capital of Mimika regency in Papua, on Tuesday, raising the death toll to seven in the clashes, which have taken place since March 4.

At least 36 other people were injured on Tuesday alone. They were part of hundreds of people wounded large-scale communal clashes in sparked by the death of a local resident.

Two of the three dead victims were believed to have been shot by security officers when the police were trying to disperse the two groups of battling residents, Papua Police chief spokesman Sr. Comr. Sulistio Pudjo said in Jayapura on Tuesday evening.

The two dead victims were identified as Joen Wandegau and Ekpinus Togime. Their bodies were laid at Mitra Masyarakat Hospital for post-mortem examinations, he said.

It was reported earlier that a group of residents conducted a burning ritual on Tuesday afternoon of the body of Kewen Jawane, who died in clashes the previous morning.

Members of the Kewen group, angered over the death, then shot arrows in the direction of the other community, who gathered across the bridge.

Sulistio said Mimika Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Jermias Rontini led his force to the clash site in Jayanti village earlier in the morning to confiscate sharp weapons and managed to collect some of the traditional weapons.

The police officers retreated to a barrier tent placed between the settlements of the warring tribes to prevent further clashes.

When the policemen were resting, a resident came to claim the body of one of his tribesmen. Other clansmen threw arrows to the opponent side, which signified a challenge to another war.

Later in the afternoon, the tribe sustaining the fatality attacked the barrier tent, claiming that police consicating their weapons had caused one of them to be killed.

A policeman, First. Brig. Eka was shot with an arrow to his neck while two attackers were found dead.

Security personnel dispersed the attackers, using water cannon and tear gas. The policemen then used force to disperse the crowd.

'€œThe Papua Police chiefs of internal affairs and intelligence will leave for Mimika to conduct various peace measures,'€ said Sulistio.

'€œWe have involved various elements of the public to reach peace but the two groups remain hostile.'€

He added that there would be investigations into the force applied and whether it had been according to procedures or not.

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