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The Very Dark Side of Bali's Night Life

Gang Violence Claims a Life at Bali Red Room Bar in Apparent Turf War Among Island's Criminal Gangs.

(7/19/2010) Violence at a Kuta nightspot left one man injured and another dead on Wednesday, July 14, 2010. The tragic incident unfolded at the Red Room Bar on Jalan Dyana Pura where thugs brutally attacked the two men, beating them with blunt objects and stabbing them with knives.

The attack followed by three days an attack on the Sky Garden Discotheque by two street gangs that occurred on Sunday, July 11, 2010.

In what has been characterized by some as a struggle for territory among thugs who extort local business for protection money, tens of men armed with blades, swords and chains rained havoc on the Red Room Bar, located adjacent to the Santa Fe Café in Kuta.

According to beritabali.com, preliminary information was that the gang planned to attack both the Sky Garden and the Red Bar seeking to kill a certain unnamed subject. The same source said the thugs did not find their target and, instead, attacked the two men, killing one of their victims. The attack was described by observers as quick and systematic.

The Sky Garden, which was under police guard and closed at the time of the attack, following a separate incident several days earlier, was bypassed by the gang that laid siege to the Red Room Bar.

The victims at Red Room Bar were two security guards. 28 year-old Bagus Alit Edi Sastrawan who was cornered by the gang, beaten into submission before being repeatedly stabbed by his assailants. While Sastrawan died in hospital following the attack, the other guard, Yesaya Karmoi, managed to escape the gang after suffering knife wounds to his back. He has been treated by a local hospital and released.

The attack which happened in the early hours saw guests, many of them foreigners, flee for the lives as the brutal attack ensued.

Before leaving the scene, the thugs also destroyed the furniture and fittings of the nightspot.

Investigation Continues

Despite numerous witnesses to the attack performed by as many as 30-40 men, police have yet to make an arrest in the case. Following witness interviews, police claim that now have a number of possible suspects on which they are focusing their efforts.

While police are unprepared to advance a motive for the attack, local press portray the attack as a struggle for territory between a local Balinese gang and another group from outside the island.

Police have announced that they will not tolerate thuggery and violence by local gangs.