14 Apr 2009

11 killed in Indonesian-Papuan clash

3:42 pm on 14 April 2009

Eleven people have been killed - six of them Indonesian soldiers and five Papuan separatists - in a fight at the border of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea at the beginning of Easter.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the clash also resulted in the destruction of a university, a church building, fuel depot and many houses at Batas, the check point at the PNG and Indonesia border near Wutung.

Reports from Wutung and police in Vanimo confirmed that the separatists also shot down an Indonesia C130 Hercules military aircraft and destroyed a bridge.

According to the Vanimo police commander, the Cendrawasih University in Jayapura was burnt to the ground, while the church building at Ankasa was torched.

He said many houses were burnt by Indonesia soldiers at Wainda, leaving hundreds of people homeless.

Meanwhile, a special meeting was held at the weekend by PNG and Indonesian government officials who issued a warning to the general public and tourists travelling through the border.

The shoot-out has forced the closure of the border to all travellers as well as traditional villagers from Wutung going to their gardens on the Indonesia side of the border.

Other reports say the pro West Papuan separatists also lowered and burnt two Indonesian flags