Fri, 16 Jun 2000

Soldier killed in armed attack

AMBON, Maluku: A soldier was killed in a mob attack in this riot-stricken town on Thursday, an official said.

Pvt. Rifel de Queljoe of the 733rd Airborne Infantry Battalion died of stab wounds in the abdomen when he and his colleague, Second Sgt. David Masbaitubun, were going to a traditional market in Tulehu village in Salahutu district.

"In an intersection in the area, the motorbike ridden by the soldiers bumped onto a pedicab. Rifel scolded the pedicab driver and soon a crowd gathered around them," Pattimura Military Commander Brig. Gen. Max Tamaela said.

Second Lt. Rudi Purwito, a company commander who happened to be on the scene, told the two soldiers to flee as the mob began to attack.

"Rifel was stabbed shortly after several troops came to rescue them. He died en route to the hospital," Tamaela said.

Separately in Ambon's Airsalobar in Nusaniwe district, a fisherman found a body of a woman with severe head and neck injuries. The woman was identified as Makaria Batmomolin, 35, a fish seller who from North Maluku. (49/edt)