World News

Indonesia Investigates Deadly Riot at Boxing Match

Indonesia has ordered an investigation into a riot at a boxing match in the eastern province of Papua late Sunday, triggering a stampede that killed at least 17 people.

In a report Monday, Indonesian state news agency Antara quoted Sports Minister Roy Suryo as saying about 1,500 people were inside the Kota Lama stadium in the town of Nabire, despite the venue having a capacity of only 800. He also said the arena had only two gates.

The riot began when supporters of a boxer who lost a championship match reacted angrily to the outcome and threw chairs, prompting a confrontation with fans of the winning boxer. Other spectators ran for the exits to escape the violence but were crushed at the gates. Eleven of those killed were women. Around 40 people were injured in the chaos.

Indonesian police questioned several witnesses to the incident and deployed additional forces in Nabire to maintain order.

Antara quoted the deputy chairman of the Indonesian parliament as saying the violence shows that the public's acceptance of sportsmanship remains weak. Hajriyanto Thohari said awareness of sportsmanship cannot be achieved instantly but must be developed from an early age in homes, schools and communities.

VOA Special Report

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