Mon, 18 Sep 2000

Medan bomb witness shot

MEDAN, North Sumatra: A man who reportedly witnessed a mysterious blast in a local church here in August is in a critical condition after being shot by two unidentified gunmen on Sunday.

Medan Police chief Sr. Supt. Hasyim Irianto was quoted by Antara as saying that Koleb Situmorang, a driver of local priest Benjamin Munthe, was shot when he was taking his employer and his family to church on Sunday morning.

Hasyim said the attackers also threatened to kill Benjamin, but spared him and left him and his family unharmed.

Benjamin was quoted by the news agency as saying that Sunday's attack was the third assassination attempt on him.

He said, however, that he did not know why he had been targeted.

Visiting President Abdurrahman Wahid speculated later in the day that Koleb was attacked because he was one of the witnesses to a series of bomb attacks in Medan in the past three months. (byg)