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 Two dead in mass brawl in Makassar

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BerichtOnderwerp: Two dead in mass brawl in Makassar    zo 9 nov 2014 - 13:47

The Jakarta Post, Makassar, Sunday November 09 2014,

Two people were killed in a brawl between residents of neighboring areas of Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Friday.

The two victims – Kifli, 25, and Riri, 15 – were killed by bullets fired by an air rifle during the fight, which involved residents of Jl. Kelapa Tiga and Jl. Muhammad Yamin Baru, Makassar.

Two other residents – Reza, 15, and Yeyen, 15 – were injured and are currently receiving medical treatment at Pelamonia Hospital in Makassar.

Makassar Police chief Comr. Fery Abraham said the police were still working to identify the shooter.

“We are also determining whether or not the two dead victims were involved in the brawl,” he said.

Fery said the cause of the brawl remained unknown, but that the incident was most likely retaliatory, as residents of the two areas repeatedly fought on another.

The incident began when a group of Kelapa Tiga residents suddenly attacked people from Jl. Muhammad Yamin Baru. They attacked using stones, bows and arrows and air rifles. The fighting stopped only after a number of police and military personnel were deployed.

On Saturday, Muhammad Yamin Baru residents launched an attack against Jl. Kelapa Tiga residents. Dozens of houses were damaged by stones thrown in the area. Hundreds of Jl. Kelapa Tiga residents, especially women and children, were evacuated. The police presence, however, was inadequate.

Makassar Deputy Mayor Syamsu Rizal said on Saturday that the local administration had tried to bring down animosity between the two neighboring areas by, among others things, holding dialogue between religious leaders, local figures and youth leaders. However, he said that fights continued to break out.

"We don’t yet know the major cause of the brawls. We will try to identify the root cause of the problem in order to know why residents of the two areas have often fought,” said Syamsu, adding that the Makassar administration had coordinated with the police to control the situation.

A sociologist from the University of Hasanuddin, Muhammad Darwis, said increased incidence of violence in Makassar, including brawls, were alarming and had to be immediately addressed.

He said the violence was partly triggered by poverty and the low standard of living.

“The government must approach people and improve their livelihoods, especially by providing job opportunities and organizing settlements so that people can live in a more peaceful and comfortable condition,” said Darwis.

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