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Nun shot in neck as Ambon unrest flares

Reuters - February 18, 1999 (abridged)

Jakarta – Panicked Indonesian security forces shot a nun in the neck on Thursday as they tried to disperse a crowd in the eastern spice islands after a bomb blast, police and witnesses said.

The violence flared about 1.00am when a homemade bomb exploded in Ambon, the scene of Christian-Moslem rioting last month that killed more than 100. "When the people heard the explosion, they panicked and ran towards a military barracks for shelter," a local reporter said.

But police and soldiers firing warning shots were unnerved by the stampede, with many of the people still carrying the machetes and spears they use on neighbourhood security patrols. "They panicked, too, they shot into the people," the reporter said.

The nun remained in hospital in Ambon, police Lieutenant Peter told Reuters by telephone from the city, 2,300 km east of Jakarta. Peter said the city was tense but quiet. There were no reports of any injuries from the bomb blast, or of any others being shot.