Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - A police officer stated that clashes between two groups, who opposed and supported the violent rallies that erupted after the rioting in Jayapura, the capital city of Papua Province, on August 29, claimed four lives.

"We are optimistic of no more communal clashes triggering new cases," Jayapura City Police Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms Gustav Urbinas remarked here on Monday while commenting on the spate of violence that broke out in the aftermath of the rioting on August 29.

Speaking in connection with the clashes that not only claimed the lives of four residents but also wounded several people, Urbinas could not as yet divulge details about the exact figure of people, who had sustained minor and serious injuries.

The police will at no cost allow perpetrators of violent acts and sweeping operations.

"No reason is justifiable for committing acts of violence, and we are taking stern actions against them," he stated.

The Jayapura city police have, until now, arrested five residents for carrying sharp weapons, he revealed, adding that normalcy had gradually been restored in the city, and the residents had resumed their day-to-day activities.

Several shopping malls and shops that withstood the recent rioting reopened, while the wreckage and debris of destroyed buildings began to be cleared up.

A spate of violence erupted in several parts of Papua and West Papua in the upshot of the Surabaya incident that had triggered public ire among native Papuans.

Over this past week, native Papuans in several parts of the provinces of Papua and West Papua held demonstrations protesting alleged racist slurs against the Papuan students in Surabaya, East Java, on August 16.

On August 29, the indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura, the capital city of Papua, again staged protests, venting their anger over the alleged racist behavior against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, but their rally then turned violent.

The brutal demonstrators went on a rampage, vandalizing and setting ablaze several government buildings. The office of ANTARA, Indonesia's national news agency, in the city was also intentionally damaged by the demonstrators on Thursday.

On August 28, a circle of violence also broke out in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.

In response to this rioting, a legislator of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) faction appealed to law enforcement agencies in the provinces of Papua and West Papua to impose stern sanctions against the rioters.

"The suspects are subject to legal sanctions," Komarudin Watubun, a member of parliament and special envoy of PDIP leader Megawati Soekarnoputri, stated before leaving Biak Numfor District for Jayapura on Monday.
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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Suharto
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