Two killed in Indonesian riots: Police

Officers arrested 23 people over the riots on Tiaka island.

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

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

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