Angry hornets kill three in Indonesia

Solo (Indonesia) (AFP) –


Three people have been killed by swarms of angry hornets in Indonesia over the past two weeks, a health agency official said Friday, after hundreds of reported attacks in recent years.

An 11-year-old student died in West Java Wednesday after he and three other pupils tried to destroy a nest of lesser banded hornets -- a species notorious for its aggressive behaviour and a sting that can trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction.

The fatal attack came after two elderly people were killed in hornet attacks this month in Central Java's Klaten city, which has seen a surge in victims.

Seven people in the area were killed by hornet stings last year and hundreds more have been attacked over the past decade, according to local data.

Several dozen health clinics across the city are on high alert for more victims, said Cahyo Widodo, head of Klaten's health agency.

"All the health centres are now prepared to handle hornet attack cases," Widodo said.

A group of volunteers are also going to locations where the hornets breed to destroy their nests.

The species has been migrating to the area over the past few years, according to a local rescue agency official.

Found across Southeast Asia, the multi-coloured hornet can grow as long as 30 millimetres (1.2 inches).