Thu, 26 Oct 2000

Communal clash kills one

PONTIANAK, West Kalimantan: Tension weighed heavily on parts of the city Wednesday after two groups of people of different ethnic origins clashed near Kapuas bridge, leaving a man killed and three others injured.

Dozens of police and soldiers were dispatched to Kampung Dalam and its neighboring hamlet of Bugis near the bridge after people living in the densely populated areas were seen massing. Rival groups in Siantan hamlet followed suit, assembling just a few hundreds meters apart before the clash erupted.

Misadin, 40, a local resident, was stabbed to death in the fray, while Abdul Hadi wounded his ear. The warring groups also injured two security personnel.

The security personnel fired warning shots to disperse the crowds, but at 6 p.m. local time tension remained high.

Witnesses said the incident was sparked by a morning fight between a bus driver and a motorcyclist of different ethnic origins at the bridge.

Shops along the main streets of Jl. Tanjungpura and Jl. Veteran were closed, as was access to the town, due to fears that the altercation would provoke widespread communal clashes, Antara reported. (amd)