Police confirm 19 dead in Papua clash

Police confirm 19 dead in Papua clash

Inspector General Anton Bachrul Alam. (ANTARA News)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Police confirmed here on Monday that 19 people had been killed in a clash in Kimak hamlet in Ilaga, Puncak District in the eastern province of Papua.

"A communal clash has occurred in Ilaga, Papua, on July 30 and 31 2011 leaving 19 people dead and one wounded," the head of the National Police`s public relations division, Inspector General Anton Bachrul Alam, said here on Monday.

Relating the chronology of the events, Anton said the clash occurred after the local General Election Commission (KPU) refused to accept documents from Simon Alom who was seeking to run for district head on a reason that the party that initially supported Simon had withdrew its support.

"Thomas Tabuni as the local chief of Gerindra Party who initially supported Simon Alom had withdrawn his support. Due to it Simon Alom`s supporters were angry and then attacked Thomas Tabuni supporters causing a clash," he said.

Police have already tried to drive away the rival groups to prevent further conflicts but the situation became uncontrollable after the two groups used arrows and stones to attack each other.

"A police Mobile Brigade member namely Second Brigadier Frans has even suffered an arrow wound though it was not serious. Due to the clash two people were killed and another one wounded," he said.

On July 31, on the same location, a clash occurred again leaving the house of Thomas Tabuni, his official home and a house damaged while the KPU office had been burned.

Anton said 13 supporters of Thomas Tabuni and four of Simon Alom supporters were killed in the incident.

"To support police in Ilaga totalling 11 and Brimob members embedded there, the Papua regional police command has already sent a platoon of Brimob members there," he said.