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Bomb blast kills seven in Palu PALU - A bomb packed with nails exploded in a crowded Christian market selling pork ahead of New Year celebrations in eastern Indonesia on Saturday, killing seven people and wounding 47, police said. The blast in Palu, capital of volatile Central Sulawesi province, came after warnings of militant violence during the Christmas and New Year season in Indonesia.

Pork is forbidden to Muslims, who account for some 85 percent of Indonesia's population, but eastern Indonesia has large pockets of Christians. Bystanders carried bloodied shoppers from the makeshift market to a road, putting them in passing cars to be taken to hospital. One man screamed as he held up his bloodied arms.

A policeman guard in front of the site of bomb blast at a pork-selling market in the town of Palu, capital of volatile Central Sulawesi province. A blast that was probably a bomb rocked a crowded market in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on Saturday, police said, and a news radio station reported that the explosion killed five people and injured another 43.
A policeman guard in front of the site of bomb blast at a pork-selling market in the town of Palu, capital of volatile Central Sulawesi province. A blast that was probably a bomb rocked a crowded market in Indonesia's Central Sulawesi on Saturday, police said, and a news radio station reported that the explosion killed five people and injured another 43.

"Suddenly there was a flash of light and a really loud bang. We were all thrown to the ground," one wounded pork seller said in an interview with El Shinta radio from his hospital bed. "I saw many buyers who had lost their legs. We just tried to save ourselves by fleeing the market." Rais Adam, Central Sulawesi police spokesman, said by telephone from Palu: "Total victims are 54. From that 54, seven died."

National police spokesman Major-General Paulus Purwoko said in Jakarta: "It was a homemade bomb. It was full of nails." The official Antara news agency said another bomb was found and defused near the market in Palu, 1,650 km (1,030 miles) northeast of Jakarta. Material like timers and cables were found in packages at two other sites in Indonesia on Saturday, but they did not include explosive materials, Purwoko said.

Central Sulawesi is a region plagued by religious violence and tension since the late 1990s. Fighting between Muslims and Christians from 1998-2001 killed 2,000 people, mainly around the Muslim town of Poso. "This was done by outside perpetrators to create an unstable situation in Palu," Rusdi Masura, mayor of South Palu regency told Metro television.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono condemned the Palu blast and ordered an investigation, his spokesman said. The explosion occurred not long after dawn when people were shopping. Slabs of pork were still sitting on wooden tables inside the small market, which local police said was only used ahead of special occasions. Family members wailed outside a hospital where some of the wounded were being treated.


Link to related event Related event:
Central Sulawesi conflict

Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict') Related blog entries (category 'C. Sulawesi conflict'):
20 November 2005 · Gunmen shoot and wound Christian couple in Sulawesi
28 May 2005 · Volunteers say Tentena explosions kill 27
28 May 2005 · Bomb blasts at Indonesia market kills 20


Posted in C. Sulawesi conflict @ 31 December 2005 10:21 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink





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