Sun, 06 Mar 2005

Three injured in grenade explosion

INDONESIA: Two unidentified motorcyclists threw a grenade at a group of people congregated along the roadside in Lateri hamlet, Teluk Ambon Baguala district, Ambon, on Saturday, injuring three people and causing panic among residents.

Two of the victims, Dudi Mimi and Julius Moses, were only slightly injured. However, the third victim, Simon Usmani, sustained serious head, arm and leg injuries.

Police officer Second Insp. George Siahaya confirmed that the explosion was caused by a grenade after fragments of the grenade were found at the scene.

The victims were from Waai village, Salahutu district. They had been in Lateri attending a party and were waiting for a bus to take them home when the incident occurred.

Ambon and Lease Islands Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Leonidas Braksan said the police had questioned seven witnesses but "the information given by the witnesses was not clear." He said he assumed the attack was intended to provoke local people.

At least 9,000 people died in a sectarian conflict between Christians and Muslims in the area between 1999 and 2001. A peace pact put a halt to the prolonged clashes but sporadic violence still continues in the region. -- JP