Press Esc to close
Thursday 30 June 2016
News updated at 3:05 AM IST
Weather
Max: 26.3°C
Min : 20.6°C
In Bengaluru
Rain lightly

8 dead, 15 injured as Myanmar budhists, Muslims clash in Indonesia

Belawan(Indonesia), Apr 5, 2013, (AP):

In a testament to just how deep tensions are running, Buddhist fishermen and Muslim asylum seekers who fled Myanmar hoping for a better life brawled with rocks and knives today at an immigration detention center in Indonesia, leaving eight dead and another 15 injured, police said.

The deadly melee broke out in North Sumatra province, where more than 100 Rohingya migrants most intercepted off Indonesia's coast in rickety boats and 11 illegal fishermen from Myanmar were being held together, said local police chief Endro Kiswanto.

He said witnesses told police the clash started after a Muslim Rohingya cleric and a Buddhist fisherman got into a heated debate about sectarian violence that erupted in their homeland last month, when mobs of armed Buddhists torched Muslim-owned homes and shops in central Myanmar, killing dozens and forcing thousands to flee.

Insults were quickly traded, and the cleric was allegedly stabbed by a fisherman, said Yusuf Umardani, detention center chief. When the cleric screamed, his friends jumped in to help. From there, a burst of fighting broke out so quickly, security guards were too late to stop it.

"The violence took place so fast, and it was completely unexpected because they had been living peacefully here so far," Umardani said. "Most of the dead victims suffered severe head injuries. Apparently, they fought using anything that they could get; rocks, wood, chairs and knives."

Eight Buddhists were killed, and 15 Rohingya were injured. Three other Buddhists escaped unharmed, Kiswanto said. "I was out with two of my friends, and when we came back ... we saw them," Win Thike Oo, one of the fishermen who survived, told an Associated Press photographer at the scene. "Our friends were covered in blood. If we were there at the time, we would also be dead."

All of the victims were rushed to a hospital in the provincial capital, Medan, about 23 kilometers south of Belawan. The three surviving fishermen have been moved to a separate building and hundreds of police have been deployed to secure the center. A forensics team was working to collect evidence, and determine how the migrants obtained knives.

Kiswanto said 25 Rohingya asylum seekers were being questioned by police and would be prosecuted under Indonesia law if suspected of being involved in the killings. Police are also reviewing surveillance recordings of the incident.

Last year, hundreds of people were killed and more than 100,000 left homeless in violence in western Myanmar between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims.

"We actually don't understand about what is happening in my country," said survivor Oo, who has been detained for nine months at the center. "We are only fishermen. We don't care about politics or conflict."


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Villagers looking at a one horned rhinoceros that strayed in...

Villagers looking at a one horned rhinoceros that strayed in...

Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan during the Pro Kabaddi match between Jaipur....

Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan during the Pro Kabaddi match between Jaipur....

Illuminated Mysuru Palace during the marriage....

Illuminated Mysuru Palace during the marriage....

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress...

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Congress...

Fans holds an national soccer team jersey with the name and number of Lionel Messi...

Fans holds an national soccer team jersey with the name and number of Lionel Messi...

Virat Kohli interacts with children at the launch of Stepathlon Kids...

Virat Kohli interacts with children at the launch of Stepathlon Kids...

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony...

Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony...

Horse-mounted Policemen seen at a road in Kolkata...

Horse-mounted Policemen seen at a road in Kolkata...

An egret takes off in New Delhi on Tuesday...

An egret takes off in New Delhi on Tuesday...

A typist attends a customer at a street flooded after heavy rains outside Court complex...

A typist attends a customer at a street flooded after heavy rains outside Court complex...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523