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Child murder witnesses to get counseling

Children as young as three killed in horrific attack

Ryan Dagur, Jakarta

November 7, 2012

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A man wielding a machete and spear attacked a Sunday school class this week in North Sumatra, killing three children aged three and four and severely injuring three others from the ages of five to 10. Yesterday, the National Commission for Child Protection sent several psychologists to Simanosor Village in Central Tapanuli district to help the dozens of child witnesses to the bloody killing. Local police are still investigating possible motives of the man, identified as Burhan Gultom, who after the attack was killed by local residents, who pelted him with rocks. The province’s police spokesperson, Heru Prakoso, said the perpetrator was believed to be mentally ill. The injured victims remain under intensive treatment in a local hospital. “The children need mental therapy,” said Arist Merdeka Sirait, who heads the commission. “They must be deeply traumatized by the incident.” The children were attending Sunday School at the Batak Society Christian Church of Maranatha. At least 20 children will receive counseling services, Sirait said.
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