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Indonesia: calls for sanctions after a deadly stampede, 32 children among the dead

"According to the latest data we have, out of 125 people who have died, 32 are children, the youngest of whom is a child aged two or three," Nahar, an official with the Ministry of Women and child protection.

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Indonesia: calls for sanctions after a deadly stampede, 32 children among the dead

"According to the latest data we have, out of 125 people who have died, 32 are children, the youngest of whom is a child aged two or three," Nahar, an official with the Ministry of Women and child protection.

The deadly crowd movement also injured more than 300 people, some of whom are between life and death in hospitals in the city of Malang, in the east of the island of Java.

The Minister in charge of security, Mahfud MD, called on the Indonesian police to "identify" the people who "perpetrated the crimes", saying that "action must be taken against them".

"We ask the national police to find the perpetrators of the crimes in the coming days," he demanded in a televised statement.

The drama that unfolded on Saturday night began when fans of local team Arema FC entered the pitch at Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang on Saturday night after their team lost 3-2 to Persebaya. Surabaya, the neighboring town.

The police responded by launching volleys of tear gas towards the crowded stands of the stadium which contained 42,000 people and was full, according to the authorities.

Onlookers then rushed en masse to narrow doorways where many were trampled on and choked, witnesses said.

Police, two of whom were killed in the tragedy, described the incident as a 'riot' but survivors accuse it of overreacting and causing the deaths of dozens of onlookers including a five-year-old child .

"One of our messages is that the authorities are investigating this (drama) thoroughly. And we are demanding accountability. Who is to be condemned?" said Andika, who declined to give his last name.

"We demand justice for our missing supporters," the 25-year-old Malang football fan asked.

National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said investigators were analyzing CCTV footage from the stadium to identify "suspects who carried out destruction".

They were also to question 18 police officers on Monday suspected of "having used or transported weapons", he added at a press conference, referring to tear gas canisters.

On television, the president of the Malang football club apologized in tears on Monday.

"As president of the Arema FC club, I take full responsibility for the incidents that have occurred. I offer my deepest apologies to the victims, their families, the Indonesians and La Liga 1," the local premier league , said Gilang Widya Pramana.

The team visited the tragedy site on Monday dressed in black T-shorts to pay their respects to the victims and lay flowers, before gathering in the grounds for prayers.

- Call for an independent investigation -

Indonesian President Joko Widodo announced on Sunday an investigation into the crowd movement, but rights groups are demanding that it be conducted independently and that the police be held accountable for the use of tear gas in a confined space.

"We call on the authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and independent investigation into the use of tear gas in the stadium and to ensure that those who committed these offenses are tried in open court," Amnesty International said in a statement. a statement.

"These losses of human life cannot go unanswered," added the NGO.

Human Rights Watch has asked FIFA to conduct its own investigation and make it public.

Minister Mahfud MD said that the members of the commission of inquiry will be chosen during the next 24 hours and that they will be members of the government, analysts, officials of the world of football, media and universities, in particular.

The authorities will announce the results of the investigation as soon as possible, he said, estimating that "the mission could be concluded in the next two or three weeks".

- Anger -

Anger was mounting towards authorities on Monday, especially online, as new information emerged about the circumstances of the stampede.

"There were supporters who died in the arms of the players," Javier Roca, the Chilean coach of Indonesian club Arema, told Spanish radio Cadena Ser on Sunday. "I think the police went too far," he added.

Fan violence has been a long-standing problem in Indonesia, where club rivalries have often turned into deadly clashes.

For the game on Saturday, Persebaya Surabaya fans were not allowed to buy tickets for fear of incidents.

The president of the International Football Federation (Fifa) Gianni Infantino, described the tragedy as "a tragedy beyond the imaginable"

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