11 Apr 2006

Reports from Indonesia's Papua province say four people are dead following clashes

10:31 am on 11 April 2006

Reports from Indonesia's Papua province say two soldiers and two suspected Papuan independence fighters have died in a clash near the Papua New Guinea border.

A spokesman for the Indonesian armed forces in Jakarta says the clash erupted when 30 armed men attacked soldiers monitoring a village 70 kilometres from the provincial capital, Jayapura.

Witnesses say the armed group descended on the soldiers while students were running a medical clinic for local villagers nearby.

At least one student was allegedly shot during the exchange.

Tensions have been high since five security officers were killed in Jayapura last month trying to break up a demonstration against the Freeport gold mine.