26 Jun 2013

West Papuan independence fighter claims he killed Indonesian soldiers

6:51 pm on 26 June 2013

A West Papua rebel leader has claimed responsibility for the killing of three Indonesian soldiers.

The claim was made by a General of the National Liberation Army of West Papua, Goliath Tabuni.

The rebel group says General Tabuni gave the command to his forces to shoot two members of the military, or TNI, in the remote Ilu district in Puncak Jaya.

The attack happened yesterday and initial reports said a civilian taxi driver was also killed.

General Tabuni says the man was not a taxi driver but a military intelligence officer.

He says he is publicly admitting the action after Indonesian police and military accused Papuan civilians of being armed and violent in that area.

He says there are no armed civilians and the authorities should pursue him and his men, not the villagers.

There have been reports of a massacre of about 40 civilians by Indonesian military in the regency of Puncak Jaya.