Fri, 24 Nov 2000

Four more bodies found in Aceh

BANDA ACEH, Aceh (JP): Four more bodies with severe wounds were found on Wednesday in separate locations across the troubled province of Aceh, according to security officers, a medical source and an activist.

An unidentified woman was found in Ujong Mangki village of Bakongan district, South Aceh.

Medical staffer Sukardi of the local hospital said that her body bore sadistic wounds.

In the northern part of the province, villagers at Kuala Ulee Rubek in Seunuddon district found a human head in a paddy field.

"I believe that the victim was murdered three days ago, probably by GAM," North Aceh Police Precinct chief Supt. Abadan Bangko said, referring to the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) rebels.

Separately, North Aceh GAM spokesman Abu Sofyan Daud said he received reports from villagers saying that the victim, identified as 32-year-old Wamar Jalil, had been arrested by military officers last week.

In East Aceh regency, humanitarian activist Muh. Yusuf disclosed on Wednesday the discovery of the body of a 40-year-old villager, Nurdin Yacob, in Paya Deumam village, Simpang Ulim district.

"He was arrested by soldiers on Monday and nobody knew what happened to him or his whereabouts until this morning," he said.

An activist with the Aceh-based National Commission for Missing Person and Victims of Violence, Zulfikar, said he had sent a letter of protest to East Aceh Police Precinct chief Supt. Abdullah Hayati over the illegal arrest of Nurdin Yacob and subsequent death.

Separately, a military officer, who refused to be named, disclosed that there was a gunfight between security officers and GAM rebels on Wednesday in Ujong Sikuneng village, Darul Makmur district in West Aceh regency, leaving one resident, Tengku Wahidin, dead.

In an unrelated development, three days of torrential rain has flooded several public facilities in the capital of Banda Aceh, including Zainoel Abidin General Hospital and the Provincial Legislative compound, which has been accommodating at least 10,000 refugees.

The villagers fled their homes last Sunday over fears of more gunfights between security officers and GAM rebels.

Most of the main streets in the downtown were paralyzed as the water level reportedly reached 80 centimeters high.

Head of the local Social Affairs Agency Rusdy Wahid told Antara the natural disaster would force more residents to seek refuge as there was no indication that the incessant rain would stop.

A resident of Grung Maneh, North Aceh regency and two others in the neighboring regency of Aceh Besar were reportedly missing in the flood.

The news agency also reported a mud slide took place in Roh Tengah village, South Aceh. However, there has been no immediate report of fatalities. (50/lup/edt)