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Deadly Riot in Bali: From Kerobokan Prison to the Streets of Denpasar

Deadly Riot in Bali: From Kerobokan Prison to the Streets of Denpasar

Certain parts of Badung and Denpasar area started to become on high alert since yesterday, December 17, 2015, late in the afternoon. The news spread quickly and the information as well as super graphic images of the violence results travelled through various Messenger Apps and Social Media even faster.


A riot happened in Kerobokan Prison Thursday afternoon (12/17), involving inmates who were associated to the island's two biggest rival organizations, forcing authorities to secure the scene immediately.


The riot broke out after a conflict occurred between two inmates which each were members of Baladika gang and Laskar Bali gang, which soon lead into a gang fight involving more or less 15 inmates.


Local newspapers reported that Bali Police Head of PR, Heri Wiyanto, stated that the conflict inside the prison has resulted four deaths.


The streets around the prison were secured and closed right after the riot, as hundreds of gang members from both sides of the gangs, Laskar Bali and Baladika, reportedly flooded the scene all armed with weapons such as spears, crowbars, knives, machetes and swords. Some of them demanded to be allowed to get into the correctional facility area to check on their family members after hearing about the clash.


The similar types of weapons were reportedly also found to be carried by the inmates inside the prison facility, raising more questions from all concerned parties.


Three cars of Riot Squad Units and Mobile Brigade with full equipment were in sent to secure the scene. The police also conducted a sweeping all around the island, and focused on the areas that are considered to be the basis of the organization members and activities. The security around all high alert areas has been heavily increased since yesterday.


The riot inside and around the prison quickly escalated into a full-scale violence on the high-profile streets of Denpasar causing a public panic, especially around Teuku Umar area, where big armed men were seen to be stabbing each other on the side of the road, and running around with their sharp weapons for everyone to see. The riot on this part of town resulted in two deaths and two victims being seriously injured.


Other surrounding areas which were reported to be on high alert as well were Badak Agung Street in Renon area (which is where the secretariat office of Laskar Bali is located), all along Jalan Teuku Umar Barat (better known as Jalan Marlboro), and pretty much all the connecting routes between those locations.


It was a scary night for those who had to commute from Denpasar - Kuta route and vice versa. However, various sources reported that the areas were on high security after the riot, making it possible for people to drive safely passing the area for the rest of the night. But even so, the local authorities suggested people to stay inside their house for the night.


Later after the riot, a raid was conducted in the prison cell blocks, and authorities managed to seize six garbage bins of weapons, two large packages of methamphetamine, a type of bulletproof vest and one laptop. The Correctional Division Head of Bali’s Justice and Human Rights Ministry, Nyoman Purtra Surya Atmaja, stated that a full investigation regarding the deadly riot would be conducted immediately.


And outside of the gates of the Correctional Facility, the Head of Bali Police, Irjen Sugeng Priyanto with several elements of the Bali Provincial Government held a mediation and discussion forum for the two organizations to find a peaceful resolution. He also reportedly emphasized that this kind of incident can’t happen again in the future.

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