SAMPIT, Indonesia -- Borneo headhunters waging a war of "ethnic cleansing" massacred 118 refugees as police were escorting the terrified villagers to what they thought was safety, police officials and community leaders said Tuesday.
Six officers assigned to protect the ethnic Madurese refugees fled when dozens of Dayak warriors, wielding spears and long knives, attacked the group near the village of Paranggian. The victims included pregnant women, children and old men.
The blood bath is the single biggest slaughter recorded in 10 days of ethnic clashes between the indigenous Dayaks and immigrant settlers from the island of Madura. The attack occurred Sunday but didn't become public until Tuesday.
For decades, the Dayaks have resented the Madurese settlers for ignoring Dayak tradition and dominating commerce in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. They have come to see the Madurese as an evil that must be eradicated.
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