Indonesia: June 8, 2004


In Papua, tribal violence over the weekend left at least one person dead, and over two dozen wounded. Most of the casualties were caused by arrows and other traditional weapons. Some 500 men from the Nduga and Damal tribes of eastern Papua were fighting over the murder of a Nduga man in April. Such confrontations, and relatively low casualties, are traditional. It is feared that, if the cheap AK-47s found in so many other parts of the world, get into Papua, the tribal conflicts will cause much higher casualties. This is what happened in Africa and Asia, where tribal battles that once left a few people dead, now kill hundreds. The AK-47 is not only more lethal, but it allows more members (the younger ones) of the tribe to get involved in the killing. 


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