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update: Eight Dead In Indonesia's Aceh In Latest Violence  Paul Barber
 May 17, 2001 03:03 PDT 
Received from Joyo Indonesian News

also: 30 homes and shops torched in Aceh

Associated Press
May 16, 2001

Eight Dead In Indonesia's Aceh In Latest Violence

JAKARTA (AP)--A school teacher and two policemen were among eight people
killed in the latest violence in Indonesia's Aceh province, police said

The bloodshed came a day after Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab said he would
visit the U.S. to reassure Washington that Indonesia wasn't conducting a
military operation to crush separatists in Aceh.

Shihab said he would explain to congressional leaders that Jakarta was
promoting dialogue with the rebels and speeding up development in the oil and
gas-rich region, on the northern tip of Sumatra island.

Violence between insurgents and security forces in Aceh has claimed more than
6,000 lives in the last 10 years. A series of cease-fires have failed to stop
the bloodshed, now at its highest level ever.

Police spokesman Capt. Sudarsarno said a gunbattle Tuesday between guerrillas
and security forces in a village in the south of the province left two
civilians dead. In a second clash, rebels ambushed a police patrol in the
west of the province killing two officers.

In another gunbattle, four rebels were shot dead also Tuesday in northern
Aceh, said local police chief Lt. Col. Wanto Sumardi.

Sofyan Daud, a regional rebel leader, confirmed the gunbattle in the village
of Cok Putoh, but he hasn't yet received reports of casualties.


Jakarta Post [online]
May 16, 2001

Two people killed, 30 homes and shops torched in Aceh

BANDA ACEH, Aceh (JP): Clashes on Tuesday between Free Aceh Movement (GAM)
separatist rebels and security forces in the restive province of Aceh have
left two civilians dead and 30 houses and shops damaged by fire, police and
residents said on Wednesday.

The ambush of a security patrol by armed rebels in Meukek subdistrict in
South Aceh on Tuesday resulted in the deaths of two civilians and left one
police officer wounded, South Aceh deputy police chief Adj. Comr. Agus
Mandarwanto said.

The two fatalities, including a female school teacher, were struck by stray
bullets, residents said.

They told local journalists that 30 houses and shops were set on fire during
a police hunt for the attackers.

Officer Agus, however, denied that the fires were the handiwork of police and
blamed it on GAM.

"The (security) personnel did not light the fires. The fires broke out after
the personnel had left the area," Agus said.

A second ambush took place in the South Aceh district of Sawang as the patrol
was trying to take the injured policeman to the general hospital in the
regency town of Tapaktuan, the officer said.

There were no casualties reported in the incident.

A local GAM spokesman, Ayah Manggeng, claimed responsibility for the attacks
but denied setting fire to the buildings.

More than 100 houses and shops were torched last weekend after security
forces conducted a search in Samalanga subdistrict, Bireun district,
following a clash with rebels in the area.

Separately, the Police's Cinta Meunasah II operation deputy spokesman Comr.
Sudarsono said rebels ambushed a police patrol in Pidie regency on Tuesday,
killing two officers.

Second Brig. Jailani, 34, and First Brig. Zulkifli, 32, were killed during a
rebel ambush at Banda Dua Police subprecinct in Pidie, while another officer,
Chief Brig. Indra Rahmat, was injured.

GAM, which has been fighting Aceh's independence since 1976, was officially
banned in March by the government, which had sent 1,100 fresh troops to the

More than 400 people have been killed in Aceh this year. (edt/50)

Paul Barber
TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign,
25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ
Tel/Fax: 01420 80153
Email: plov-@gn.apc.org
Internet: www.gn.apc.org/tapol
Defending victims of oppression in Indonesia and
East Timor, 1973-2000
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