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Latest violence in Aceh kills 3, including infant

Jakarta Globe - April 1, 2014

Nurdin Hasan, Banda Aceh – Three people, including a one-and-a-half-year-old infant, were killed in Aceh after unidentified gunmen fired on a car decked out with political banners, in what police believe may be another incidence of election-related violence in the province.

Bireun Police chief Adj. Sr. Cmr. Ali Khadafi said the victims were riding in a car covered in pictures associated with the Aceh Party (PA) – a party formed by members of the former separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) – when attackers suddenly fired shots at the car at an intersection in Geulanggang Tenguh village in the Kota Juang subdistrict on Monday night.

"We believe there were two shooters riding a motorcycle," Ali told the Jakarta Globe. "They followed a Kijang van carrying 12 people, including two toddlers, and they fired multiple shots that hit four people."

Ali said the van was covered with a picture of a legislative candidate for the District Legislative Council (DPRK), as well as a PA flag.

After the car was shot, the driver continued to drive to the nearest health clinic in Kota Juang – approximately 500 meters from the scene of the shooting.

Three people in the vehicle were pronounced dead on arrival at the clinic. They were identified as Juwaini, 29; his infant son, Khairil Anwar; and Azirawati, 28. Another victim Fakhrurrazi, 35, was in critical condition following the shooting.

The victims were later transferred to Dr. Fauziah regional hospital in Bireun. A doctor at the emergency unit of the hospital, Nazirah, said the baby received a critical head injury from gunfire while he was sleeping in his mother's arms.

Ali said that police were still unable to confirm whether or not the attack was related to the upcoming legislative elections, which will be held on April 9.

He said police searched the crime scene and found four shells usually used in a high-caliber rifle, adding that 200 officers have been deployed to the area to search for the perpetrators. "We hope we will catch them soon so we can find out the motivation behind this shooting," he said.

At the time of the attack, Ali said the victims were on their way to Buket Tekuh village to visit a traditional healer because one of them was ill. Prior to the shooting incident, Ali added, Bireun was relatively free of the election-related violence that had been more frequent in other districts in Aceh.

"These people may want to terrorize people in Bireun, but we police officers will try our hardest to solve this crime and arrest the perpetrators," he said.

Last month, it was reported that two National Aceh party (PNA) were critically injured and a member of the Aceh Party was hospitalized for non-life threatening injuries in other bouts of election violence.

A PA member Ahmad Syuib, 28, was shot on March 21 on Jalan Banda Aceh Medan at Ulee Reuleueng village, North Aceh district, while taking part in a motor convoy after attending a campaign event.

The following Saturday, a mob of PA supporters converged on the home of Amri, a local official with PNA, in retaliation for the shooting.

Source: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/latest-violence-aceh-kills-3-including-infant/