6 Sep 2003

Indonesia to reinforce troops on PNG/Papua border

9:53 am on 6 September 2003

The Indonesian military is to dispatch four more battalions to Papua Province following clashes in Timika which last week left five people dead and dozens injured.

Its Commander, General Endriartono Sutarto, says the troops will be assigned to several places, including along the border with Papua New Guinea to boost the strength of three battalions already stationed there.

He says three battalions are not enough to oversee more than 500 kilometres of territorial borders.

Meanwhile, after several days of calm, Timika, became tense on Monday after two migrant motorcycle taxi drivers were killed by locals over what is said to be a minor misunderstanding.

Police Chief Da'i Bachtiar says that one person has been arrested as a suspect.

Due to the volatile situation in Timika, authorities have deployed hundreds of police to the area.