Mon, 16 Oct 2000

Three killed in Aceh latest violence

BANDA ACEH, Aceh (JP): At least three people, including one police officer, died in the latest violence in Pidie and North Aceh regencies on Saturday, a police officer said.

Police Deputy Chief Supt. Yatim Suyatmo of the Cinta Meunasah special operation said one police officer, identified as Second Sgt. Hery Sutiono, was shot dead when alleged members of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) ambushed a police convoy in Tong Pria village, Mutiara district, Pidie regency on Saturday afternoon.

He added that a few hours later, in Blang Mangki village, Simpang Tiga district, Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers were forced to shoot dead an alleged GAM member, identified as Karmuddin, after he and his colleagues, who were at a food stall, refused a police order to stop for questioning.

Separately, GAM spokesman in Pidie regency Abu Razak said on Saturday evening that GAM were compelled to attack the Brimob officers in Tong Pria village in retaliation for a police raid on the GAM headquarters in Tiro subdistrict.

Razak claimed that GAM had wounded six police officers in the incident.

"It was a sort of punishment because they (the security forces) have repeatedly violated the Humanitarian Pause by such actions as raiding our headquarters," he said.

He questioned the police's mission in Blang Mangki village, which had resulted in the death of Karmuddin and the arrest of his accomplices by the police.

"They were all unarmed civilians. What was the police's mission exactly in attacking local residents at a food stall?" Razak said.

Earlier on the same day, Suyatmo said, a homemade bomb exploded in Kudrang village, Mila district, Pidie regency as a truckload of police was passing through the village on its way to the local police subprecinct office.

"No fatalities were reported, but the explosion damaged the front part of the truck," he said.

Suyatmo added that in North Aceh, the police also shot dead an alleged GAM member, named Muhammad Isa, in Paloh Kayee Kuryet, Nisam district.

However, the officer did not disclose the grounds for the shooting of the alleged GAM member.

Separately, North Aceh GAM commander Abu Sofyan Daud confirmed that one out of a total of 12 GAM guerrillas was shot dead in a gunfight between GAM and the police, but claimed that the guerrillas had killed at least six police officers. (50/lup)