23 Oct 2012

Protesters, police hurt in West Papua

9:39 pm on 23 October 2012

A demonstration in Indonesia's West Papua region has left four student protesters and four police hurt.

The university students were protesting after being denied a permit to hold a demonstration.

A local television station has shown footage of people hurling rocks at police and dozens of officers firing shots at the demonstrators.

There were scenes of police smashing up protesters' bikes and dragging people away.

Deputy police chief Brigadier General Paulus Waterpaw says the police attempted to disperse the unauthorised protest by firing into the air.

But he says the demonstrators then turned on them with rocks, prompting the police to fire back.

Brigadier General Waterpaw says he regrets that the situation became violent.