28 Mar 2003

Tribal violence in Indonesia's Papua province leave policeman seriously injured

10:26 am on 28 March 2003

In Indonesia's Papua province nine people, including a policeman, have been seriously injured in a tribal battle.

The riot in Mimika district erupted on Wednesday after tribesmen from Banti village descended on the neighbouring Kimbeli village and attacked its people.

Papua police spokesman Daud Sihombing, says they had accused the Kimbeli villagers of killing a Banti resident by witchcraft.

The state news agency Antara says police managed to contain the violence, but 17 people were injured.

The brawl had involved 300 people armed with spears, arrows and rocks.

An anti-riot policeman was seriously injured after an arrow pierced his nose.

The villagers also set fire to three cars belonging to local government officials, who arrived to try to contain the situation.