Banda Aceh. Aceh Party politician Syukri Abdullah and his female business colleague were shot dead on Tuesday night as they were driving through the district of Bireuen to their respective homes in the neighboring province of Lhokseumawe. A third passenger in the victim’s vehicle sustained minor injuries.
Syukri, 36, and Cut Yetti, 39, were shot dead near the village of Paya Rangkuloh at around midnight on Tuesday.
“The perpetrator drove a minivan in front of the victim’s automobile and fired shots,” Gustav Leo, a spokesman for the Aceh police, told the Jakarta Globe on Wednesday.
The victims were in the front seats of a Honda CRV — a third passenger, Yetti’s nephew T. Muhammad Yasir, 16, was injured from pieces of shattered glass.
Aceh Party spokesman Fachrul Razi said Syukri was a secretary to the party’s Lhokseumawe branch, and the commander of the Lhokseumawe branch of the Aceh Transitional Committee, the body set up to accommodate former members of the now-defunct rebel group Free Aceh Movement (GAM) — the local Aceh Party was formed by former GAM guerillas.
Gustav believes the shooter used an AK-47 rifle, and said police found a number of bullets at the crime scene. But police have yet to say how many assailants were involved.
“We suspect that the perpetrator had been following the victim several hours before the shooting,” Gustav said.
Gustav could not speculate on a possible motive, but said that the killing did not seem political because Syukri was not involved in any immediate elections.
“The motive seems personal, but we are still working on the case,” he added.
A number of shootings — many of them fatal — were reported in Aceh ahead of April’s elections for provincial heads, district leaders and their deputies.
Bireuen will hold a separate election to select the new district and the deputy next month.