Tue, 21 Mar 2000

Fakfak regent mobbed

FAKFAK, Irian Jaya: Just two days after assuming his new post, Wahiddin Puarara, the new regent of Fakfak, was mobbed by some 150 people on Sunday, with the regent's adjutant shooting one of the attackers.

Unidentified people severely beat Wahiddin, his adjutant and driver and destroyed three official vehicles in the village of Weyati, some eight kilometers away from Fakfak.

Wahiddin and his driver were reportedly treated at Fakfak Hospital.

There were no clear motives at the time to explain the mob's sudden attack on Wahiddin and his entourage as they left an aid handover ceremony for Weyati.

The regent's group dispersed as the mob intercepted and attacked them, and deputy regent Fransiscus Hambore and his wife managed to escape to the neighboring village of Pasir Putih, about three kilometers from Weyati.

Local police chief Lt. Col. Totok Kasmiarto said officers had been deployed to Weyati. "The officers failed to calm the angry crowd. They had to open fire," Totok said.

Totok described the attack as an action which reached a dangerous level. (eba)