Apriadi Gunawan, Medan – A 16-year-old boy died and two others were injured after being beaten by vigilantes for throwing lit firecrackers into a mosque compound while a Quran recital was underway in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, late on Sunday.
Beringin district police chief Adj. Comr. Doni Simanjuntak said the three teenagers were riding a motorcycle and had thrown the firecrackers into the mosque compound in Pasar V Kebun Kelapa village at around 11.30 p.m.
Participants in the recital chased down the teenagers, who later crashed. "The three were then severely beaten," Doni said on Monday.
Police brought the teenagers to a local hospital for treatment, but one teenager died. The other two were still being treated.
In a separate development, at least one person was killed and two others were injured in a large explosion on Sunday evening in Kaliangkrik, Magelang, Central Java.
Five houses were heavily damaged while six other houses were slightly damaged in the blast, which was allegedly fueled by raw materials for making firecrackers.Central Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Ahmad Luthfi said the person who died was a 33-year-old man named Mufid, who was suspected of making firecrackers for sale.
"Our investigation showed that he had ordered 7.5 kilograms of materials" used to make firecrackers, Ahmad said in Magelang on Monday.
"Mufid was found dead at the scene with severe wounds. Both his legs were missing," the police chief added.
The police have named several suspects and have arrested one person suspected of selling Mufid the materials.
They also said the blast had been caused by potassium, sulfur and aluminum powder, which are often used to make firecrackers.
Firecracker sales usually increase during Ramadan and Idul Fitri, when many people use them in celebration of the holiday.
Ahmad said the provincial police had confiscated and disposed of at least 12,600 items related to the manufacture of firecrackers since the beginning of Ramadan, which started on Mar. 22.
Police are calling on the public to refrain from lighting firecrackers, citing a provision from the 1951 Emergency Law on the possession of firearms or explosive substances, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years or life in prison. (dre)