8 Nov 2004

Indonesian President says military action in Papua should not lead to civilian deaths

7:53 am on 8 November 2004

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says civilian deaths are unacceptable in military operations in the Indonesian province of Papua.

He has instructed security minister Widodo to ensure army forces carry out their operations properly and carefully in the troubled Puncak Jaya region.

At least 10 civilians in the area have died in recent fighting between separatist guerillas and the Indonesian military.

The guerrillas are blamed for killing six migrant workers last month in apparent retaliation after soldiers shot four civilians, including a Catholic priest.

An independent team is investigating the shootings.