Britons killed by robbers amid rioting

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The Independent Online
TWO Britons have been killed in the rioting in Indonesia, it emerged last night. The Foreign Office said that the men are believed to have died at the hands of robbers.

A spokesman said: "We are asking for a full police investigation into both cases. The motive appears to have been robbery." Neither victim has been named and officials are still trying to contact the relatives of one of the men, both of whom died in Jakarta.

One man is believed to have died on 14 May, but his death was not reported to British authorities until yesterday. The Foreign Office was also only notified of the other death yesterday. A spokesman said there was "no direct evidence linking the deaths to mob violence".

The riots have prompted an evacuation of the capital Jakarta by Britons and other Europeans. A 26-year-old British woman who helped more than 2,000 people escape the country is being hailed as a heroine.

Her staff have been stoned, her home has been looted and she has slept only 19 hours in six days. However, Claire Hatton has kept her British Airways office open while other airlines businesses abandoned Jakarta. She said yesterday: "I will stay here as long as I am needed and there are people wanting to leave."

News of the killings emerged just hours after more than 100 refugees fleeing Indonesia arrived at Heathrow Airport.

Gill Richards, from Petersfield, Hampshire, said: "We are relieved to be home. Most of our friends are leaving but we are hoping to get back once it has calmed down. We saw a few tanks on the road but we managed to get to the airport all right."

Mike Watson, an aviation safety expert, said: "We live in the centre of Jakarta and we could see the burning buildings completely surrounding us. It was frightening to watch and we could hear gunfire. The city is a complete ghost town now, but Wednesday is National Students' Day and more trouble is expected."

He said one of the biggest problems was that no one could get money out of the banks, many of which had been looted.

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