Cop killings spark concern in Jakarta

Cop killings spark concern in Jakarta

JAKARTA - Two policemen have been shot in four days in the Greater Jakarta area, raising concerns of rising violence nearing the heart of the capital, and with some analysts saying terrorism should not be ruled out.

On Friday night, four men shot off-duty officer Ruslan Kusuma in the leg while he was cleaning his motorcycle at a carwash in Depok and fled with his motorcycle.

That followed the murder of officer Sukardi by four men on Tuesday along a major road near the capital centre.

He was shot four times while escorting six trucks carrying construction materials. The killers escaped with his gun.

The brazen nature of the attacks that have killed three policemen since July in the capital and its outskirts has made residents uneasy over rising lawlessness.

They have led to calls for policemen to wear bulletproof vests and helmets to protect themselves.

"If the police can be killed, what more a judge? How safe is this country? These incidents can instil fear," Constitutional Court chief Akil Mokhtar told reporters.

Analyst Neta S. Pane of non-governmental organisation Indonesia Police Watch (IPW) told The Sunday Times: "The incidents are worrying as it seems to suggest a trend - targeting policemen. Police should quickly resolve these cases to deter copycats and act to prevent illegal firearms smuggling."

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