Shootouts in Poso

Oct 23rd, 2006, in News, by

One civilian was killed in Poso, central Sulawesi, after fighting broke out between police and groups of Muslims.

Five regular police officers and one Mobile Brigade officer were carrying out an operation in the Gebang Rejo district of Poso, a mainly Muslim area, on 22nd October at 21.15, and were attacked by a number of men, who fired guns and threw homemade bombs and stones at them. Police sources say that the policemen at first fired many warning shots, but fearful of their ammunition running out, and seeing that their vehicles were being destroyed by their attackers, they fired back, directly, and also called for backup.

Increasing numbers of residents spilled onto the streets, apparently roused by tapping on lighting poles, and thereafter the police post on Jalan Irian, with 16 policemen inside, was attacked.

One police Mobile Brigade unit later arrived and evacuated the original six officers by around 22.45. Shots were continually exchanged with the mob. One civilian, by the name of Udin (Syaifuddin), 22 years old, was shot in the neck and shoulder, was taken to the nearest hospital but died 30 minutes after arriving, (Antara) two or three others were wounded, one critically, and one policeman was in need of six stitches in the head. (Detik)

There are suggestions that residents in the Gebang Rejo area were under the impression that the target of the original police operation was an Islamic boarding school, or several schools, and that this was the cause of their attacking police. An M. Kilat of the police in Palu is reported by Detik to have denied that any school was in fact being targeted by police. (Detik). It appears, according to police sources, that police were attempting to arrest a man who was known to have two identity cards (KTP), “Cholid Asyayap”, or “Kholid Assayaf” (Lampung) and “Idrus A” (Poso). (Tempo) The man in question managed to escape.

Police chief Anton Bachrul Alam in Jakarta believes that the attack on the police had been planned some time beforehand. (Detik)

The following day, on the morning of 23rd October at 11.00 a fresh, but smaller outbreak of fighting occured, between police and a group of men who had just returned from the burial of the slain Udin. Police fired warning shots and empty shells. Two people were hurt. (Detik and Liputan6.)

Galih Pamungkas
Galih Pamungkas, 3, hurt in fighting on the 23rd, during the funeral procession of Syaifuddin.

As of the night of October 23rd it is said that six men have been arrested, the youngest 28 years of age, the oldest 40. (Tempo)

Some Muslim residents in Poso have a history of stormy relations with the police, see Poso Muslims & Police, 10th May 2006, and on the more recent troubles in the area, Poso Violence, 1st October 2006.

In the early hours of October 24th the long-suffering Protestant Eklesia church on Pulau Seram street in Gebang Rejo district, was set on fire by a mob, who arrived in a convoy of about twenty motorcyles, firing weapons into the air as they rode, and used molotov cocktails and possibly a bomb to set the church alight. The rear of the church was burnt out, no one was hurt. (Antara and Tempo and Detik.)

And as Tomaculum points out below a Muslim group, the Poso Forum Solidaritas Perjuangan Ummat Islam, are demanding that police Mobile Brigade (BriMob) units that come from outside Central Sulawesi (from Manado, Makassar, & East Kalimantan), be withdrawn from the area within 24 hours. The Forum’s spokesman, Adnan Arzal, said that all Muslim social and political groups in Poso had agreed that all outside BriMob units must be withdrawn because they were thought to worsen an already bad situation. He threatened to bring thousands of Muslims onto the streets if his demands were not met.

Adnan Arzal also had other demands – he insisted that four police investigators, Gorries Mere, Paulus Purwoko, F.X. Sunarno, and S.Y. Wenas, who led the investigations into past Poso violence, be sent back to Jakarta, and also, that the policeman/men responsible for the killing of Udin be brought to justice. (Antara)

3 Comments on “Shootouts in Poso”

  1. Tomaculum says:

    And now (read it in today) Islam groups up there issue an ultimatum to the Police chief of Indonesia (Police general Sutanto) to take back the special police troops (Brimob) and the 4 Generals which are there to investigate the violence acts in Poso. Sutanto has to take back his troops within 24 hours else they will arrange a giant action/demonstration.
    It is tantalizing to see, what Sutanto will do.
    If he withdraw his troops, it will be a proof of weakness of the Indonesian government (one more proof). And it may will be the start of an unrulable anarchism in every corner of this land.
    If not, he surely need the help from the army. This is a proof of the incompetency of the Indonesian police.
    The next clash is already appear at the horizon. And who will suffer under the coming violent acts?

  2. Andrew says:

    Looks like they won’t budge –


    Way to go!

  3. jack_hartawan says:

    Wierd, in poso priest shoot dead, church burnt, bomb on Christian market but the black sheep and executed was tibo cs from Christian, and 2 Christian girls beheaded, so Islam is peace never done wrong and always did good deed. Who ever the terrorist is Christian, Christian people shoot dead their own people, Christian bomb their own church, like usa bomb their wtc, viva muhamad the holy man.

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