Thu, 05 Oct 2000

Armed rebels launch two more attacks

BANDA ACEH, Aceh (JP): Police on Wednesday said that armed rebels had launched yet more hit-and-run attacks, this time on an arms storage depot and a district religious affairs office.

No casualties were reported in either of the Tuesday night incidents.

The first attack occurred when rebels launched a mortar attack on an arms depot in Pulo Rungkom village, Lhokseumawe.

North Aceh Police Precinct chief Supt. Abadan Bangko on Wednesday estimated that five mortar projectiles were fired at the depot, "however no fatalities or major damage was reported as the rebels missed the target".

Free Aceh Movement (GAM) spokesman Abu Sofyan Daud confirmed the attack saying it was launched in retaliation for Indonesia security forces' alleged violations of the Humanitarian Pause.

The second attack occurred when a bomb exploded at the religious affairs office in Suka Makmur district, in Aceh Besar, shattering windows and damaging some rooms in the building.

Religious affairs offices across the province have been the frequent targets of such attacks.

The deputy commander of the Cinta Meunasah police operation, Supt. Yatim Suyatmo, said that after the explosion another bomb went off near the Lambaro bridge, Inginjaya district, in Aceh Besar.

However, the blast failed to damage the bridge," Yatim was quoted by Antara as saying.

He added that the bridge, linking Banda Aceh and the Blang Bintang area, escaped damage as the bomb was not powerful enough.

While violence continued on the ground, negotiators of the Humanitarian Pause continued to work on the administrative aspects of the accord.

The Banda Aceh-based Joint Committee on Security Modalities revealed on Wednesday that a six-member monitoring team would be set up in each of the four most clash-prone regencies -- Pidie, North Aceh, East Aceh and South Aceh.

The teams would be tasked with providing immediate reports on possible clashes occurring between the security forces and GAM.

The teams are expected to comprise religious and community leaders and non-governmental organizations.(50/lup)