26 Oct 2011

Indonesia sends more troops to Papua

8:19 am on 26 October 2011

Indonesia has sent paramilitary reinforcements to its Papua province, after a deadly crackdown on a pro-independence rally and the shooting of a police chief.

Five Papuans were killed last Wednesday after security forces stormed a rally where participants raised the outlawed separatist flag.

On Monday, a local police chief was killed by two attackers who grabbed his gun and shot him at an airport.

Provincial police spokesman Wachyono says so far an extra 260 personnel from the police mobile brigade have landed in Papua province to help maintain security in two districts.

He says troops were sent to the Puncak Jaya and Paniai highlands in central Papua adding that they will join an existing force of 14,000 police and paramilitary troops in Papua.

He says officers are still "hunting" the police chief's killers.

Authorities have said that based on preliminary investigations the culprits are believed to be separatists, an allegation denied by separatist group, OPM.