Ambon city`s community no longer provoked by "RMS" flags, bomb threat

Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) – Ambon city`s public are no longer provoked by events such as the appearence of flags of the outlawed “RMS” (Republic of South Maluku) separatist movement on trees and buildings nor by the bomb blast that injured several people on Wendesday.

“The people are aware that the flag-hoisting activity and the bomb threat are tricks done by certain groups,” Maluku police spokesman Tommy Napitupulu said here Wednesday.

The bomb blast injured six people while the flags were seen in a number of the city`s districts such as Kudamati, Batu Gajah, Skip, Karang Panjang, Galala and Wayame. Unidentified people had apparently raised the flags on Tuesday night.

Local people saw the flags on Wednesday morning and reported it to the police who then sent personnel to remove the flags.


Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) – Ambon city`s public are no longer provoked by events such as the appearence of flags of the outlawed “RMS” (Republic of South Maluku) separatist movement on trees and buildings nor by the bomb blast that injured several people on Wendesday.

“The people are aware that the flag-hoisting activity and the bomb threat are tricks done by certain groups,” Maluku police spokesman Tommy Napitupulu said here Wednesday.

The bomb blast injured six people while the flags were seen in a number of the city`s districts such as Kudamati, Batu Gajah, Skip, Karang Panjang, Galala and Wayame. Unidentified people had apparently raised the flags on Tuesday night.

Local people saw the flags on Wednesday morning and reported it to the police who then sent personnel to remove the flags.

But police on Wednesday morning arrested two people, identified as JM and CK, at two separate locations for trying to raise the illegal flag or suspected involvement in pro-RMS activity.

JM, who worked as a motorbike-taxi driver, was arrested in Kudamati when he was about to raise an RMS flag which was then confiscated by the police.

After questioning JM, police arrested CK in Batu Gaja.

CK was alleged to have been involved in the raising of many RMS flags but when police raided his house they did not find any RMS flags or attributes.

Both JM and CK were on Wednesday afternoon still under intensive questioning at an Ambon police station.

Up to Wednesday morning, thousands of police and soldiers remained patrolling the city and combing a number of strategic locations which were suspected to be hideouts of RMS sympathizers or supporters.

More than 30 people were killed and more than 100 others were injured in 2005 after clashes and a week of violence which was triggered by a pro-independence parade.

The separatist movement was crushed shortly after its declaration in 1950 but the rebels regrouped following the fall of President Soeharto in 1998.

More than 5,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands other were left homeless when a wave of sectariaon violence broke out in Ambon in January 1999 and continued for three years before a peace pact was signed in February 2002.

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