A deadly rivalry between two gangs in West Papua’s Sorong City ended with one person stabbed to death and 18 more trapped in a fire after a fight broke out in the Double O club on Monday night.
Police say the two groups had been armed with machetes as well as arrows. The flames started from an unknown source at the ground floor, and quickly consumed the entire building.
“Clashes broke out. The mob burned down the karaoke place, and two vehicles,” the city’s police chief Ary Nyoto Setiawan told local media, explaining that the violence had started elsewhere with the murder of the first victim before “friends of the victim immediately chased the perpetrators”To the club.
Police were called Saturday morning to end violence between these two groups. The Maluku islands are not considered ethnic Papuans but they have already been identified as being from nearby Maluku.
Despite police being deployed in the city to stop further clashes, they also brought together the leaders from both groups to try to resolve the conflict and bring an end to violence. However, it was not enough to put an end the disputes.
The fight had just begun when police tried to extricate the place from their control, at approximately 11pm. By the time firefighters had put out the blaze on Tuesday morning, it was too late to save any of the victims trapped in a room on the club’s upper floor.
While the province of West Papua has been the site of violent clashes over a separatist group’s desire to leave Indonesia, Monday’s fight was not believed to be political in origin, according to the BBC, though local media made a point of reporting that both groups were not native to the province.
As of Tuesday night, no suspects were identified. Military leaders stated that an investigation was ongoing in order to determine the perpetrators as well as the military commanders. “masterminds”Behind the two gangs.
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