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Election violence continues in Aceh

Jakarta Globe - March 22, 2014

Nurdin Hasan, Banda Aceh – Two National Aceh Party (PNA) members were critically injured and a member of the Aceh Party (PA) was hospitalized for non-life-threatening injuries in related incidents on Friday.

Aceh Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Gustav Leo said on Saturday that PA member Ahmad Syuib, 28, was shot on Jalan Banda Aceh Medan at Ulee Reuleueng village, North Aceh district on Friday night.

"He was shot in the ribs when he was on his way home [with other party members] in a convoy of cars after attending the Aceh Party's campaign event," Gustav said.

Zulkarnaini Bin Hamzah, chairman of PA's North Aceh district chapter, called on the police to investigate the case. "There was no problem when supporters and members of the Aceh Party headed to the campaign location," Zulkarnaini said. "But on the way home after the campaign, the shooting happened."

Local residents said the man was traveling in a car made to look like a military vehicle. "A person in the car shouted 'someone has been shot'," said one resident, who asked not to be identified. "The convoy stopped and the victim was taken to Arun hospital."

Aceh Party supporters then went looking for the perpetrator and, based on the assumption that the shooting was the work of a rival party, destroyed the car and house of Dedi Safrizal, a PNA councilor on the Aceh Legislative Council from Lancang Barat village. "They also destroyed PNA campaign materials across the street," the resident said.

The group then assaulted two members of the PNA, Armiya, 24 and Tauhid, 25, who were sitting in a coffee shop in Cot Murong village, Dewantara subdistrict.

"Two members of the PNA task force are critically injured with head and other injuries after they were seriously assaulted by PA supporters," said Sofyan, the secretary of the PNA North Aceh chapter. "Both are in intensive care at Kesrem hospital in Lhokseumawe."

He said the PA supporters also destroyed the house of Amri, the commander of the local PNA task force in Uteun Bayi village. "Even though our members were assaulted and their houses destroyed, we advise all PNA cadres not to retaliate, as we love peace," Sofyan said.

Both parties were formed out of the now-disbanded Free Aceh Movement (GAM), a separatist movement that fought the Indonesian government for Aceh independence for three decades. "Why bother winning [the conflict] if it is only increasing the number of orphans in Aceh," Sofyan said.

Gustav said that the situation in North Aceh was under control by Saturday afternoon. "Police are still investigating the shooting," he said.

Source: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/election-violence-continues-aceh/