16 Apr 2003

Papuan armoury raid suspect dies suddenly in army detention

6:46 pm on 16 April 2003

A suspect in a raid on an armoury in Indonesia's Papua province has died suddenly while in army detention, according to the human rights group, Elsham.

A spokesman for Elsham, says the man died on Tuesay yesterday morning(tues), a day after Indonesian soldiers tied two ropes around his neck and paraded him through his village.

The Jakarta Post quoted the regional military commander Major General Nurdin Zainal as saying the man had developed breathing problems moments after eating lunch, following a reconstruction of the armoury raid.

A group of 15 gunmen broke into the Wamena district military compound on April 4 during a power cut and made off with 29 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Three people died in the raid which the army initially blamed on separatists but has admitted that soldiers may also have been involved.

Earlier this week, Amnesty International said it had reports that soldiers had tortured villagers and torched homes during the hunt for those involved in the raid.