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Gunmen Shot Lhokseumawe Council Speaker

BY NURDIN HASAN


Banda Aceh, TAG – An Aceh Party politician was shot in his home Thursday early morning in what may be the latest instance of campaign violence leading up to Aceh's elections.

Saifuddin Yunus aka Pun Pang was rushed to Lhokseumawe military hospital by Dedi, his groundskeeper, with a gunshot wound to the torso. Saifuddin was conscious and able to talk when he arrived at the hospital.
According to police, Saifuddin had just arrived at his home in Alue Awe village of Muara Dua sub-district in Lhokseumawe at 2:30 Thursday morning when two armed men attacked him.
“The attackers immediately released three shots at the victim as he came out of his car. One of the bullets penetrated his right waist and reached an upper part of his stomach,” Aceh Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Gustav Leo said in Banda Aceh.
Saifuddin, the speaker of the Lhokseumawe Council, said he saw a motorcycle parked in the street outside his house as returned home from the provincial capital, Banda Aceh.
He tried to quickly lock the front gate, but the assailants began shooting. Two shots missed, but Saifuddin was struck with the third, Gustav said qouting victim’s explanation.
It is unclear whether the attack was related to the upcoming Aceh elections on April 9. The governor's seat, as well as the positions of four mayors and 13 district heads are up for vote. 


“Police are still investigating the motive behind the shooting, while hunting the perpetrators,” Gustav said.


Violence has clouded Aceh's campaign season, beginning last December, and culminating in the deaths of nine people. Dozens of others have been injured in election-related violence. 


One week ago, a group of men attempted to torch the car of campaign team of incumbent Governor Irwandi Yusuf in Idi Rayeuk, East Aceh.
The shooting occurred a week after a Brussels-based global think tank group warned that despite rhetorical commitments of all contenders to a peaceful election, the potential for isolated acts of violence between now and then is high and trouble after results are announced may be even higher.
Getting as many trained monitors to Aceh as possible in the coming weeks is critical. Election monitors should begin deployment to Aceh long before the election to deter intimidation,” the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a press statement obtained by The Aceh Globe.
“Whether violence materialises will depend on several factors, including the speed with which local election monitors can take up position in some of the most contested districts, like Bireuen and east Aceh” districts,” Sidney Jones, ICG senior adviser, said.
“It is also important that the police move quickly to pursue those responsible for a series of killings in December and January so that rumours of political motivation can either be laid to rest or conclusively proven.”[]
Gunmen Shot Lhokseumawe Council Speaker Gunmen Shot Lhokseumawe Council Speaker Reviewed by Nurdin Hasan on March 08, 2012 Rating: 5

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