Mon, 07 Aug 2000

Three injured in Wamena rioting

JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya: Two civilian and one policeman were severely injured in a clamor which broke out in the town of Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, on Saturday.

Antara said the police officer was chief Sgt. S Tamaela, while one of the civilians was identified as Nasrun. The identity of the other civilian was not known.

The three are now being treated for severe wounds at the intensive care unit of the local hospital.

The officer suffered stab wounds to his right arm, while one of Nasrun's ears was severely cut. The other patient was injured in the buttocks. Witnesses said an arrow hit him from behind.

The clash erupted after locals were informed that the chief of the Papuan civilian militia (Satgas) in Wamena was shot dead by police at the airport.

Approximately 2,500 Satgas members, with arrow, swords and other sharp weapons entered the town of Wamena soon after hearing the rumor. They besieged the Jayawijaya Police station.

A brawl then ensued and warning shots from the police failed to break it up.

The mob dispersed after learning that their chief, Elyas Babinggen, was still alive.

The situation had returned to normal by Saturday evening but Wamena remained tense. (sur)