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Five injured in fresh
clashes on Ambon island
AMBON, Maluku (JP): A
fresh community clash broke out in Ambon Island on Monday morning when
residents from Tial and Tulehu villages attacked nearbySuli village,
injuring at least five residents and destroying dozens of houses, an
Spokesman of the
civil emergency post in Ambon Maj. M. Djari said at least 40 houses in
Suli village in Salahutu district, Central Maluku have been razed and
five Suli residents injured as a result of the clash.
Djari said the
victims were rushed to the Indonesian Navy hospital in Ambon for
immediate treatment. The
predominantly Christian Suli village was attacked by Tulehu residentsfrom
the hills and neighboring Tial residents who initiated the clash by
shooting and firing mortars.
The attack forced
dozens of Suli residents to take refuge in nearby Passovillage. Suli
residents questioned the Pattimura military personnel for their failure
to take quick action to stop the rampage as the Tulehu village is located
near the Pattimura Military Headquarters.
Saleh Latuconsina, who had confirmed the attack on Monday, ordered the
deployment of two companies of joint military-police troops to the
The governor also
urged security personnel to take stern action against those who were
responsible or involved in the attack.
So far, there has
been no official explanation of the motive for the attack but there was a
possibility that the clash was triggered by recent community clashes in
neighboring Saparua Island, also in Central Maluku.
The clash in Saparua Island that erupted on Wednesday has claimed
at least 13 lives and injured 27 others.
Meanwhile in Saparua
Island, the joint police-military troops, conducted on Monday, a sweeping
operation in the villages which were involved in the recent community
clashes. The objective of the operation was to strip all residents of
illegal firearms and weapons.
Later in the
afternoon, hundreds of Christian residents staged a peacefulrally at the
governor's office on Jl. Pattimura, protesting the failure of the leaders
of the civil emergency administration in Maluku province in restoring
security and order.
The protesters were
received by Latuconsina and Maluku Provincial Legislative Council Speaker
Etty Sahuburua. Both leaders vowed to convey the protesters' aspirations
to the central government. While
pointing at the leaders' failure, the protesters also stressed the
importance of the United Nations' intervention in ending the violence.
The protesters' spokesman Jimmy Mailoa from the All-Maluku Protestant Churches declared a week of mourning starting from Sept. 26 for Christians,telling them to stay at home, fast and pray. Christian residents were told to wear black clothes or ribbons if they had to go outdoors. (49/lup)