Mimika, Papua. Two tribesmen were killed when rival groups armed with bows and arrows clashed in Indonesia’s restive Papua province on Monday, 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 jewelry, said an AFP correspondent who saw four police struck by arrows.
Four vehicles, including an armored police truck, were torched in the violence.
“Two people have died and one is in critical condition,” Mimika district police operations head Syamsul Ridwan told AFP. “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.
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, “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.