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Houses torched, hundreds homeless near site of Indonesia’s new capital

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JAKARTA (Reuters) – A conflict between two Indonesian communities has rekindled near the site of the planned new capital of Southeast Asia, police said on Thursday, with protesters burning dozens of homes, leaving hundreds homeless.

At least 158 ​​homes, a school and other public facilities were set ablaze in northern Penajam Paser in eastern Kalimantan province on Wednesday, said a disaster agency official Nurlaila, according to Antara news agency.

The attacks came a week after two communities clashed on a nearby beach, during which one man was stabbed to death and another seriously injured, East Kalimantan police spokesman Ade Yaya Suryana told Metro. TV.

The reason for the conflict was not immediately clarified.

The murder suspect was arrested, as were three others for carrying sharp weapons, Suryana said.

A crowd of about 100 people sought those responsible for the death before setting fire to the buildings, Suryana said.

"We explained that we had arrested (the suspects), but eventually the riot, or the arson, happened," he said.

The violence occurred about 40 km (25 miles) from the site of the country's new capital, but was not believed to be related to deforestation.

Kalimantan, the Indonesian side of the island of Borneo, was the scene of a deadly conflict between two ethnic groups in the early 2000s. There have been no reports of violent clashes in the area in recent years. (Reporting by Tabita Diela; Nick Macfie Edition)

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