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 One dead in Aceh brawl over church burning

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BerichtOnderwerp: One dead in Aceh brawl over church burning    di 13 okt 2015 - 22:09


The Jakarta Post, Oct 13 2015,

The National Police said on Tuesday that one person has died and others are injured after a brawl between two mobs over the burning of a church in a village in Aceh Singkil district in Aceh province.

Spokesperson for the National Police Sr. Cmr. Suharsono said that the incident took place in Dangguran Village in Aceh Singkil district. "One man died from a gunshot and four others are injured," he said as reported by

Suharsono said that the deceased was from the mob that set fire to the church. An officer of the Indonesian Military (TNI) was among the injured.

The police are still investigating the incident and are questioning at least 20 people.

"We still have not found the gun that was used. Our officers in Aceh will try to find out who opened fire," he said. He added that currently police and TNI officers were on guard around the location.

Based on the information gathered by, the victim was Samsul, 21, who was shot in the left temple. The police report said that the gun was a homemade gun.

After the brawl, local police secured 52 people and confiscated various sharp weapons, 20 cars, two trucks and 30 motorcycles.

The incident was ignited by the burning of a house that had been used as a church without a proper permit. According to a report, the mob had gathered on Monday following a protest on Oct. 6 calling on the Aceh Singkil administration to tear down the building.

The brawl took place at noon on Tuesday after a mob that called themselves the Aceh Singkil Islamic Youth Movement tried to break through a barricade at a HKI Christian church at Dangguran village.

The villagers of Dangguran resisted the mob, leading to the brawl.

From the Jakarta Globe, same subject,

Police Say Aceh Church Burning Was Premeditated Attack,

Jakarta. Some twenty people have been arrested for possible involvement in the premeditated attack on a church and a deadly clash in Aceh Singkil district around noon, the chief of National Police said late on Tuesday.

"We're still investigating whether those arrested were involved or not," said Gen. Badrodin Haiti. "We will act firmly."

A group of people using 20 motorcycles, three pickup trucks and three cars and carrying axes, sticks and machetes on Tuesday set fire to a protestant church in Suka Makmur village in Gunung Meriah subdistrict, Badrodin said.

"I call on everybody remain calm, so that people don't get provoked by SMS," he added. "We'll deal with this in accordance with the law."

One person -- identified as Syamsul -- died on Tuesday as the mob was confronted by a group of people guarding another church. It is presumed he was hit by a projectile fired from an airsoft gun, the police chief said.

The coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs, Luhut Panjaitan, said at the State Palace on Tuesday that he was still trying to verify what exactly happened in Aceh.

It was previously reported that an angry Muslim mob attacked and torched the church because it was operating without a permit, and that shots were fired from another church under siege.

Badrodin said the second clash happened in Dangguran village, where the mob was confronted by people -- including police and military personnel -- guarding another church.

Besides the man who was killed, four others were injured, including a soldier.

"In fact every church [in the area] was being guarded by the military and the police," Badrodin said. "But because there are so many, there were just around 20 people per church, while the mob consisted of about 500 people."

The police chief also said that the local government had already agreed to tear down 21 churches operating without a licence next week, but that some people apparently were not involved in that arrangement and took matters into their own hands on Tuesday.

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