Indonesian troops 'kill Papua civilians' after deadly separatist attack

Four civilians have been killed by Indonesian troops hunting separatist rebels in the restive province of Papua, a local resident says.

Indonesian security forces have killed four civilians during an anti-insurgency operation in the restive province of Papua, according to a local resident.

in Mbua and Yigi villages in Nduga district, district youth leader Samuel Tabuni said.

The conflict between Indonesian forces and indigenous populations in West Papua, a province of Indonesia that borders Papua New Guinea, continues today.
The conflict between Indonesian forces and indigenous populations in West Papua, a province of Indonesia that borders Papua New Guinea, continues. Source: EPA


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The anti-insurgency operation was apparently in response to the fatal shooting of

Papuan police spokesman Ahmad Kamal confirmed they were investigating the allegations.

"We don't know if they [the people killed] were members of the armed criminal group," he said, referring to the separatist Free Papua Movement, which has fought for Papua's independence from Indonesia since the 1960s.

"They may have been killed in a gunfight," he added.

Indonesian soldiers and police officers carry a body bag containing the body of a victim of separatist attack in Nduga.
Indonesian soldiers and police officers carry a body bag containing the body of a victim of separatist attack in Nduga. Source: EPA


But Tabuni said those killed were civilians, not members of the Free Papua Movement.



"One of them is my uncle, who was a member of the local church council," he said.

The construction workers were killed while they were building roads and bridges, part of President Joko Widodo's drive to improve infrastructure in Papua, where many areas are covered by jungle and road access is limited.

Indonesian troops and workers prepare coffins for the slain construction workers.
Indonesian troops and workers prepare coffins for the slain construction workers. Source: EPA


The Free Papua Movement had claimed responsibility for the earlier killings, saying it had targeted members of the army's engineering detachment who were enlisted to build roads.


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Published 11 December 2018 at 6:04am