BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) — Unidentified gunmen killed five people and wounded eight in three attacks on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, police said Monday.
The largest attack was Saturday on a base camp of workers digging a fiber optic trench for a telecommunications company in Bireuen district, said Col. Gustaf Leo, a local police spokesman. Three of the workers were killed and seven wounded.
The attacker was believed to have used a long-barrel assault rifle, Gustaf said.
At almost the same time, two men riding a motorbike killed a man at a doll shop in the province’s capital Banda Aceh, Gustaf said.
In North Aceh district Sunday, assailants riding several motorbikes fired on a coffee stall, killing one farmer and wounding another.
The assailants fired randomly on houses while escaping, but causing no more casualties.
Aceh is on the northern end of Sumatra island where separatist rebels once struggled for independence. They reached a peace deal in 2005, but the fighting left assault weapons in irresponsible hands.
Governor Irwandi Yusuf called on police to thoroughly investigate the shootings, which happened as the province prepares to election a new governor. The twice-delayed election is set for Feb. 16.
However, Irwandi, who is seeking re-election, was confident the shootings had no direct link with the elections.