Fri, 26 Aug 1994

Hendro warns of security threats

JAKARTA (JP): Jakarta Military Commander Maj. Gen. AM Hendropriyono warned Jakartans that ethnic and religious differences and economic disparities remain a potential threat to stability in the city.

"Recent incidents, such as mass brawls among students and citizens, are the reasons why the Jakarta military command launched Operation Cleansing," said the two-star general in a speech, written by Brig. Gen. Wiranto.

Wiranto, the Chief of Staff of Jakarta military command, first made the statement during the celebration of Prophet Muhammad's birthday at military headquarters in Cililitan, East Jakarta, yesterday.

The military-sponsored Operation Cleansing was launched in April to check the escalating crime rates in the city and the surrounding area.

So far, the operation teams have seized over 600,000 bottles of alcoholic beverages along with 14 guns, 440 sharp weapons, over three million pills worth of illegal drugs and a large quantity of heroin.

Prior to the campaign, an Army brigadier general was stabbed and killed by a number of drunken men in Cipinang, East Jakarta, after an altercation.

Hendro, as the general likes to be called, said yesterday that the ownership of drugs, spirits, guns and other sharp weapons as well as the business of prostitution, were other potential threats to stability in the city.

He called on the public to adhere to a religious life in a bid to deal with threats to security.

Some six hundred servicemen and their families attended yesterday's celebration. (09)