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Two dead in latest Aceh violence

BANDA ACEH, Aceh (JP): Violence in troubled Aceh continued on Tuesday, claiming two fatalities and injuring eight people, including three police personnel, officers and activists said on Wednesday.

Police Special Operation Cinta Meunasah deputy chief Supt. Yatim Suyatmo said a resident of Cot Ara village in Simpang Tiga district in Pidie regency was shot dead by rebels of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) who were riding a motorcycle.

The motive of the killing remained unclear and the two suspects managed to leave the scene, he said.

Separately, North Aceh Police Supt. Abadan Bangko said a dead man later, identified as Yusuf Mahadir, was found by residents floating in a river in Loskala village. His body was riddled with bullets.

"The local police are still investigating the case," he said.

In another related development, Students Against Violence coordinator Zulkarnaini said that five residents of Simpang Aneuh area in East Aceh regency were severely injured after being assaulted by local police officers on Tuesday evening.

"Two other Simpang Aneuh locals were reportedly abducted by the police," Zulkarnaini said.

When asked, East Aceh Police chief Supt. Abdullah Hayati denied the allegation, saying that his men went to Simpang Aneuh to seize a vehicle belonging to GAM and had made no arrests at all.

Officer Suyatmo identified one of the wounded police personnel as Mobile Brigade Pvt. Sriyatno from the Jambo Aye substation.

"He is in a critical condition at a local health center after being stabbed from behind by a GAM rebel in Kedai Panton Labu village, North Aceh regency, on Tuesday evening," he said.

The victim and his colleague Pvt. Rahmat Suryana were on their way to buy meals at a nearby food stall, some 100 meters from the substation when the incident took place.

"It was raining that night and the two had to take shelter in front of a store, when suddenly a man approached and pointed a knife at his stomach," he said, adding that Rahmat fired warning shots to scatter the assailant and his gang members.

Suyatmo added that Sriyatno attempted to fight back at the assailant but was wounded in the right hand,

"Rahmat fired shots at the assailants but they were able to escape," he said, adding that two residents who were closing their stores had been injured in the incident.

The two other police personnel, both from the Mobile Brigade unit, were injured when a homemade bomb exploded in front of the Trumon Police substation in South Aceh when the officers were conducting a vehicle check in the area on Tuesday, according to South Aceh Police chief Supt. Muhammad Ali Husain.

"The police were checking a bus when suddenly a homemade bomb was thrown at the police. The perpetrators disappeared into the crowd," he said, adding that the perpetrators were armed civilians. (50/lup)


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