By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Fight fans rioted in protest against a local boxer’s loss in a championship fight in a stadium in Papua province in eastern Indonesia with at least 18 people dead in a resulting stampede.
The Jakarta Post quoted Papua province police spokesman Lt. Col. Gede Sumerta Jaya who said the victims, mostly women, were trampled to death as about 1,500 spectators scrambled out of the stadium to escape the riot that broke out just before midnight Sunday.
The Kota Lama Sport Stadium in the town of Nabire had only two working exits. Points awarded by a panel of judges decided the championship match for the Bupati Cup, or Regent Cup.
Jaya said that when the decision was announced the losing boxer's supporters threw chairs at the judges and the winner's supporters responded by throwing bottles and broken chairs, panicking people in the stadium He said 12 of the dead were women, and more than 40 other spectators were injured and hospitalized.
The boxers names were not mentioned in the report neither were the other fight details.
Police and soldiers were deployed to stop the fighting.
Nabire, about 3,200 kilometers east of Jakarta, is located on Cendrawasih Bay on the north coast of Papua.