A group of motorcyclists reportedly attacked a swab test facility in Surabaya, East Java this morning following widespread refusal against testing from travelers coming from neighboring Madura Island.
Yesterday, hundreds of Bangkalan, Madura citizens under the Coalition of United Madura People rallied outside Surabaya City Hall protesting Mayor Eri Cahyadi’s “discriminatory” policy mandating swab antigen tests for those from the island entering the East Java capital via the 5.4-kilometer Suramadu Bridge.
At around 5am today, a group of motorcyclists came riding from Madura and caused a ruckus at a swab test checkpoint on the Surabaya side of the bridge.
Videos that have circulated from the incident show the motorcyclists squaring off with military and police officers at the test facility, while loud bangs from firecrackers can be heard on several occasions, with reports that the explosives were hurled at the officers.
A Surabaya official has confirmed the attack and said that some from the mob managed to kick down several chairs at the testing facility before the mobile brigade (Brimob) dispersed them with tear gas. Local police are investigating who was behind the attack, and there have been no reports of any serious injuries.
While some Madurans may think the mandatory swab test in Surabaya is “discriminatory,” it’s hard to fault officials for enforcing it given that of 3,000 who recently traveled via the Suramadu Bridge, at least 20 percent tested positive.
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