17 Sep 2002

More Indonesian troops sent to Papua

10:19 am on 17 September 2002

Reports from Indonesia say more troops have been sent to Papua to beef up security near the US-owned Freeport mine after last month's killing of two American teachers and an Indonesian.

Security sources say the American mine operator had asked for the reinforcements to help about 1,000 soldiers track the killers.

Papua's military chief Mahidin Simbolon says the reinforcements will guard the housing complex for foreigners and increase mobile patrols.

Freeport officials have refused to comment on the security situation at the mine complex.

The military has blamed separatists for the attack but a human rights group has found inconsistencies in the military's account of the incident.