Monday, October 23, 2006

Police clash with Muslim mob in Poso

Police clashed with a Muslim mob in Indonesia's central Sulawesi province, killing one man and injuring two, witnesses and police said Monday. One of the injured named Tugiharjo, aged 35, had a gunshot wound to the left elbow and the other injured, Jalih Pamungkas, had a chest wound.
An unidentified member of the mob died of gunshot wounds on the way to the hospital, police chief Lt. Col. Rudy Sufahriadi said.
The violence began late Sunday in central Poso. During two hours of unrest late Sunday night into early Monday morning, police fired into the crowd after being attacked by a stone-throwing mob, Sufahriadi said. Police opened fire when a mob threw stones and Molotov cocktails at a new police checkpoint in a Muslim-dominated area. Police spokesman M. Kilat said "The people were not happy with patrols and searches conducted by police in their area following a small explosion Sunday", he was quoted as saying. There were no casualties in the blast. Police were conducting house to house searches for weapons, bombs and militants when the mob formed and attacked the police.
"We are still investigating the shooting and the situation in Poso is now under control," he said, describing the police reaction as self-defense. It was unclear whether any members of the crowd returned fire.

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