Nine Killed in Latest Violence on Aceh

Published December 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Nine people were killed or found dead amid renewed violence in Indonesia's troubled Aceh province where government troops are fighting separatist rebels, witnesses and police said Wednesday. 

Seven bodies and one badly injured man were found on Wednesday in two separate locations in the district of Bireun, witnesses said. 

Four of the bodies, all with bullet wounds, were laid in a row on the side of the road in the Samalanga sub-district of Bireun, said a Red Cross volunteer who helped collect the bodies to bring them to the state Fauziah hospital. 

In the Jeumpa sub-district another four people were found on a roadside in the Paya Kareung area, all with their throats slit. Three were dead but one was alive and was rushed to Bireun for treatment, said the driver who took the injured man to hospital. 

According to the driver, who identified himself as Memet, the injured man said he was a police sergeant major from the Lawueng sub-district in the neighboring district of Pidie. 

In addition another policeman and a civilian suspected of being a separatist rebel of the Aceh Merdeka (Free Aceh) Movement (GAM) were killed in different incidents in East Aceh district, Aceh police operation spokesman Superintendent Yatim Suyatmo said. 

The policeman was shot dead by rebels in Kampung Blang Tuesday evening while buying cigarettes at a roadstall. 

The civilian was shot during an exchange of fire with police forces earlier the same day in Kuta Lawah, Suyatmo said, adding the clash took place when rebels ambushed a police patrol. 

Suyatmo said rebels also attacked two police posts in Ulim and Mereudu, both in the Pidie district, but there were no casualties. 

An employee of the state telecom was also shot and wounded by security personnel at a roadblock in Paru, a local journalist said. 

The GAM has been fighting since the mid-1970s for an independent Islamic state on the northern tip of Sumatra Island. 

More than 850 people have died this year in violence related to clashes between the GAM and government troops despite a shaky truce which has been in force since June. 

Pressure for a vote on self-rule has intensified since East Timor's breakaway from Indonesia last year after a UN-conducted ballot on self determination. 

Jakarta has ruled out independence for Aceh but pledged broad autonomy -- BANDA ACEH (AFP)  

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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