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Four killed as accident sparks riot in Bandung

Straits Times - February 21, 1997

Bandung – Tension gripped several parts of the Indonesian city of Bandung following a traffic accident and a riot on Tuesday evening which left four people dead and seven others hospitalised.

Residents and passers-by went on a rampage after two people were killed in a traffic accident, The Jakarta Post reported yesterday.

Pedicab driver Jana bin Samijah, 39, and his passenger, 16-year-old Uus M. Yunus died after they were hit by a minibus driven by Mardamo Marbun, 37.

Passers-by and residents began attacking the minibus and its driver and in the process killed a resident, Mr Pipin Arifin, 25, who had been helping the two victims.

The mob continued to a carwash area for minibuses where it attacked and burned 13 of the vehicles and killed 23-year-old Yana who was washing the vehicles.

Bandung military chief Lieutenant-Colonel Osaka Meliala was quoted by the Kompas daily as saying that "the motive was purely criminal and not linked to any other issue".

Bandung, near the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, has been rife with rumours of unrest in recent weeks, with flyers in circulation calling for ethnic and religious violence.

Lt-Col Meliala said no arrests had been made but that the incident was being investigated. – AFP.