4 Sep 2006

Police and soldiers sent to quell tribal fight in a remote part of Indonesia's Papua

7:57 pm on 4 September 2006

Indonesian police say that hundreds of extra police and troops have been sent to an area in a remote part of Papua province, where fighting between rival tribes has killed three people.

A Papuan police spokesman, Kartono Wangsadisastra, says police have not made any arrests since renewed fighting between the Damal and Dani tribes in the Mimika region erupted for the third time since last month.

He says an additional 200 police and 100 soldiers had been sent from the provincial capital Jayapura to the area as members of a third tribe joined the fighting after one of their members was wounded by a stray arrow.

Mr Wangsadisastra says that they have summoned tribal chiefs to make peace.

But he says it is hard to intervene because the tribal fighters want to settle the matter for themselves, and an arrest could cause the conflict to widen.