21 Jan 2006

Indonesian soldiers shoot four Papuans, killing one - report

7:13 am on 21 January 2006

The Australian Coalition of West Papua Support Groups says Indonesian soldiers have shot at least four Papuan people, killing one.

The campaign group says one of the four, Moses Douw later died at the Enarotali health clinic.

The group alleges two others were also beaten by the soldiers and have been flown to Timika for treatment because they're believed to be in a critical condition.

The coalition, which has sources in Papua, says the four people were shot yesterday afternoon by TNI soldiers from Battalion 753 based in Waghete.

The shootings allegedly took place in the Paniai area, which is the home region for some members of a group of Papuans who fled for Australia.

The 43 Papuans arrived in far north Queensland on Wednesday after a six-day crossing of the Torres Strait in an outrigger canoe with an outboard motor.

They've been sent to the Australian territory of Christmas Island, but local media report the group has not claimed asylum.

A banner strung on their canoe accused Indonesia of genocide in Papua, a charge denied by authorities in Jakarta.