Brimob officer shot dead in clash with TNI soldiers in Aceh

Tempo Interactive – November 27, 2004
Brimob officers clash with TNI personnel (Merdeka)
Brimob officers clash with TNI personnel (Merdeka)

Imran MA, Lhokseumawe – The body of a Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officer from a Brimob post in the village of Seuneubok Aceh in the Idi Rayeuk sub-district of East Aceh who was killed in an attack by TNI (armed forces) troops from the Karma Bhakti Infantry Battalion 111, Rifle Company B, in East Aceh on Friday November 26, has been returned to his home in Palembang South Sumatra.

The dead officer, Jonsen, was shot the head. Three others were wounded in the incident. Dikdik Santosa was shot in the thigh, Private Faisal was shot in the side and Alidah was shot in the head. They are now being treated at the Langsa Public Hospital.

The clash between TNI troops and Brimob occurred on Thursday November 25 between 3.30pm and 4.30pm. The clash broke out without warning after some 30 TNI troops from Infantry Battalion 111 arrived at the Brimob post in Seuneubok on four motorbikes and a car.

According to the post commander, Gadir Hery Wibowo, upon arriving at the post one of the soldiers immediately requested that the Brimob officers gather inside the post and were invited to discuss a some issue which Wibowo was not clear about. What Wibowo heard were the words “Where is the one who stopped me yesterday? Where is he? Yeah, we’ll just come in an look inside the post”.

Initially, only three TNI officer came into the post but more soon entered. There were even some who entered through the back door escorting one of the Brimob commanders called Sugeng.

Sugeng was then punched by one of the soldiers. The situation became increasingly tense then gun shots were heard outside. “The atmosphere that night was chaotic. Fortunately I was wearing a bullet proof vest”, said Wibowo who was shot – although the bullet failed to penetrate – when he tried to check what was happening outside the post. A firefight then ensued which continued until the soldiers finally disappeared.

The Brimob officers at the post said that something felt strange as soon as the soldiers arrived. This was apparent [from their behavior] as the Brimob post normally has visitors from the TNI or other police posts. According to Wibowo, police officers or the TNI from other units often visited the post to eat. “I even greeted them and I asked what the problem was”, said Wibowo.

Following the incident, evidence of the clash was still visible with walls potted with bullet holes. Also left behind were as four damaged motorbikes, a beret, a cell phone and a number of bullet shells. The evidence has been secured by the East Aceh police.

As of going to print there has yet to be an official announcement on the cause of the incident. TNI Lieutenant-Colonel Edy Sulistyadi from the political, legal and security affairs department has confirmed the incident although he has refused to comment on the matter because those involved are local soldiers. The Aceh police chief has also declined to comment.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski.]