PUBLISHED: 00:24 EST, 19 June 2012 | UPDATED: 01:40 EST, 19 June 2012
- One tribesman critically injured and four police struck by arrows in Papua
- Vehicles, including armoured police truck, torched in clash between 500 men
- Conflict linked to death of tribe member in road accident earlier this month
Two tribesmen were killed when rival groups armed with bows and arrows clashed in Indonesia’s restive Papua province yesterday, police said.
The clash, which also left one person critically injured, broke out in the morning between around 500 men wearing matching striped shorts and tribal jewellery.
Four police were struck by arrows and four vehicles, including an armoured police truck, were torched in the violence.
On the frontline: A tribal warrior is led away with an arrow in his chest amid violent clashes between groups in the Papua province of Indonesia
Tribal warfare: The clashes, which have left two dead, broke out between around 500 men armed with bows and arrows
Trying to keep order: Indonesian soldiers surround a Papuan tribal warrior armed with bow and arrow. Officers have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the number of men involved in the fighting
‘Two people have died and one is in critical condition,’ said Mimika district police operations head Syamsul Ridwan.
‘They were hit with arrows, but we need to await autopsy results to be sure of the cause of death.’
The dead were from Kampung Harapan, he said, whose inhabitants regularly clash with the people of Kampung Amole.
Up in flames: Warriors used improvised shields to move into position while police vehicles burns in the background in Kwamki Lama village in Mimika
Raging tensions: An Indonesian soldier checks a burnt-out car following a clash between two villages at Kwamki district in Timika, Papua province
Call to arms: Papuan tribal warriors line the streets on June 6 when the first clashes erupted after the death of a tribe member in a road accident
They had last fought on June 6 after the death of a tribe member in a road accident and Monday’s violence was probably related to that incident, Ridwan said.
Police had been unable to control the situation, he said, as they have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the number of armed men.
Several large tribes live side by side in Mimika district, and killings are usually settled traditionally with compensation and communal feasts.