25 Jul 2006

Tribal clash in Papua claims four lives and at least 16 injured

3:20 pm on 25 July 2006

Four people have been killed in tribal clashes in the district of Mimika in Indonesia's Papua province.

Indonesia's state-run news agency Antara reports that at least 16 others have also been injured in the fighting between members of the Dani and Nduga tribes.

Chief of the Mimika police, Jimmy Tulian, says fighting broke out on Sunday following the death of a child belonging to the Dani tribe while swimming at nearby river.

Dani tribesmen blamed the death on the rival Nduga whose members were attacked by the Dani with arrows when they later made a visit of condolence.

Chief Tulian says the situation remains tense as scores of people from each tribe prepare to continue the fighting which has been carried out with traditional weapons.

He says leaders from the rival tribes and officials from the local government administration are trying to mediate in an attempt to stop the fighting.

Tribal clashes were common between Dani and other tribes in the Papua's Baliem Valley mid-1990s, claiming the lives of dozens of people.