Thu, 02 Oct 2003

More life lost in regency split violence

MAKASSAR, South Sulawesi: Another man was killed in violence in South Sulawesi over the split of Polewali Mamasa (Polmas) into two regencies, Polewali and Mamasa, police and residents said on Wednesday.

Tuesday's killing of Abdul Hakim, 40, from Salurinduk village in Aralle subdistrict was blamed on supporters of the division, who allegedly attacked him in Kondo Rubak village.

His death brings the toll to three. Two others were killed on Monday, reportedly by those in support of the split.

Muhammad Zakir Akbar, secretary-general of the Communication Forum for Pitu Ulunna Salu people, who opposed the division of Polmas regency, said Hakim was beaten to death while on his way to Kondo Rubak to attend peace talks.

Salurinduk village head Makrupi, 35, who was with Hakim, managed to flee as hundreds of armed people attacked them, Zakir added.

Polmas Police deputy chief Comr. Samad Saleh confirmed Tuesday's incident, saying both Hakim and Makrupi had been invited for peace talks by supporters of the division following the deaths of Hamdi and Nurdin, also opponents of the division.