Lampung Death Toll Reaches 14 After Two Days of Ethnic Violence
Police in South Lampung discovered the remains of 14 people on Tuesday after two days of intervillage clashes rocked this conflict-prone region.
The bodies were discovered after officers searched fields in the Kalianda and Waypanji subdistricts.
“We swept the farms and plantations and found the remains of 10 victims,” South Lampung Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Tatar Nugroho said.
More than a 1,000 people displaced from their homes by the violence had sought refuge at the National Police School complex in nearby Bandarlampung by Tuesday, National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said.
This most recent wave of violence was sparked by reports that two teenage girls from Agom village, in Kalianda, were injured while riding a motorcycle through Balinuraga village, in Waypanji, on Sunday.
The girls said they crashed their motorcycle because young men from the village were teasing them. The incident quickly escalated as members of both villages exchanged ethnic slurs, Tatar said.
Balinuraga is a predominately Balinese Hindu enclave in a largely Muslim region populated by the local Lampung people.
Hundreds of Lampung people from villages across Kalianda turned on Balinuraga on Sunday in a wave of mob violence that left four dead, Tatar said.
On Monday, a mob of 10,000 Lampung people mounted a second attack, breaking through a police blockade to storm Balinuraga again. Ten Balinuraga residents were killed in this attack as the mob torched 166 homes, 11 motorcycles and two schools in Balinuraga and neighboring Sidoreno, police said.
Nine people from Kalianda were shot or stabbed during the two days of attacks, Tatar added.
The region was quiet on Tuesday as 2,150 members of the local police and the Indonesian Military (TNI) were dispatched to quell future violence, police said.
The National Police were investigating the incidents, Boy said.
“We will study why the people get angry so easily,” he said. “We really regret this situation.”
This region has been home to three other intervillage clashes this year, including attacks in Natar, South Lampung, Padangcermin, Pesawaran, and Sidomulyo, South Lampung.