10 Jun 2004

Fighting ceases in West Papua tribal conflict

10:18 am on 10 June 2004

Hundreds of warring tribesmen have called off their battle in Indonesia's West papua province after the death toll between the two sides became even.

Three people have been killed near the southern town of Timika since fighting between the Nguda and Damal tribes began on Saturday, with more than a hundred injured in the violence.

Renewed fighting on Tuesday afternoon stopped when a third man was killed.

Local traditions say a battle must continue until the death toll is equal on both sides.

However, police say they will remain on alert.

If any tribesmen injured in the conflict die, fighting is likely to resume.

A feud that led to the murder of a Nguda man sparked the conflict.