Two killed in Indonesian riots: Police
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 23:28
Palu (Indonesia): Indonesian police on Tuesday said officers killed two people and wounded five others when they opened fire on protesters who had taken over an oil well off Sulawesi island.

Officers arrested 23 people over the riots on Tiaka island, Central Sulawesi province, which began on Saturday and escalated yesterday, provincial police chief Dewa Parsana told reporters.

Armed with machetes, sickles and Molotov cocktails, hundreds of people attacked the well belonging to state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina and PT Medco E&P Tomori.

They held two employees, a soldier and two policemen hostage but later released them, Parsana said.

"Police tried to negotiate with the people but they refused to listen," he said, adding that officers opened fire as a "last resort".

The protesters were complaining that the companies had failed to honour promises such as providing electricity and jobs to local residents.

Central Sulawesi has been the scene of sporadic unrest since violence between Muslims and Christians claimed around 1,000 lives in 2000 and 2001.

A government brokered peace deal came into force in December 2001.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 23:28

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