Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) - An interfaith prayer organized by Maluku's South Buru District Police has defused a conflict between the residents of Elfule and Kawiri villages in the region.

"Yesterday, a conflict occurred between the youth of opposing villages, and we invite them to the interfaith prayer to defuse the conflict," South Buru Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner M. Agung Gumilar stated telephonically here, Tuesday.

Gumilar remarked that the conflict erupted during a volleyball match between Elfule and Kawiri villages organized by the district's Indonesian National Youth Committee (KNPI) to commemorate Youth Pledge Day later this month.

The match referee then decided to put the game on hold until the next day due to the lack of lighting in the match field. While withdrawing from the arena, supporters of the two village teams had verbal altercations that snowballed into a brawl and riot, the police officer explained.

"We apprehend residents involved in the brawl and log their names. We also invite village elders and mediate the conflict between the two sides to restore peace," Gumilar noted.

He remarked that during the interfaith prayer, residents and youth of the two conflicting villages decided to brush aside their hostility and then greeted and hugged one another while expressing their willingness to forgive each other.

Apart from defusing the conflict, the police chief said that the interfaith prayer is also conducted to offer prayers for victims of the Kanjuruhan Stadium tragedy in Malang, East Java, on Saturday (October 1).

"Indonesia and the national sports are mourning the tragedy at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java, and we also offer our prayer (to them) at the event. The tragedy is the Almighty God's admonition for all of us," Gumilar stated.

During the interfaith prayer, organized as a candlelight vigil, prayers were offered according to the Islamic, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, and Buddhist rites. Some 200 residents, police officers, and religious figures attended the interfaith prayer.

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Translator: Winda Herman, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Sri Haryati
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