Mon, 22 Mar 1999

One dead as political parties clash

YOGYAKARTA (JP): One person died and several were injured in a clash among supporters of the United Development Party (PPP) and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), both of which held rallies on Sunday.

Police said the victim was Eko Prabowo, 22, from Danukusuman village.

A source, requesting anonymity, said Eko died on the way to Sardjito hospital, following a clash in the village by dozens of PDI Perjuangan and PPP supporters armed with sharp weapons.

Some 15 others, identified as supporters of both parties, were injured and received treatment at a number of hospitals and clinics. Police said injuries sustained included a severed ear and hand.

Dozens of flags lining the roads, belonging to both parties, were damaged and burnt.

During the riot, the window shield of resident I Putu Gamma's car was smashed and Rp 100,000 seized.

Locals said the riot was triggered when PDI Perjuangan property was attacked by a group of youths, who appeared to be PPP supporters.

Residents who rebuked them were attacked and fled the scene, while police were overwhelmed by the brawling youths.

Also on Sunday, the small People's Democratic Party (PRD) opened their Yogyakarta branch. Supporters were not involved in the riot, sources said.

Separately on Friday night in Semarang, the house of chairman of the provincial branch of PDI Perjuangan, Soeratal, was attacked by unknown people.

Soeratal said he believed he knew those responsible for the attack. As of Saturday, a formal complaint had not been lodged with police.

Semarang Police chief Lt. Col. Mathius Salempang said the attack was most likely the result of party conflict.

Separately, Semarang Golkar party chairman Anis Mundiatno, said he had reported to police that 100 Golkar flags were seized from their display points along the road, while dozens of others were damaged. (44/har)