18 Oct 2012

Indonesia steps up Papua crackdown in Wamena

1:07 pm on 18 October 2012

There are reports of an intensifying sweep operation in Papua by Indonesia's security forces in pursuit of pro-independence activists from the West Papua National Committee, or KNPB.

Security chiefs say they are searching for those behind an alleged bomb plot in Jayawijaya Regency.

Johnny Blades reports

"Security forces have been concentrating their raids on the Highlands town of Wamena. Emerging ground reports say that many residents have fled to the remote villages surrounding Wamena, pursued by military in combination with the counter-terror unit Detachment 88 and Brimob paramilitary officers. A number of KNPB activists are understood to have been arrested, and the situation around Wamena is described as tense. Local church leaders accuse the security forces of engineering conditions to justify eliminating Papuan civil resistance. This comes as Papuans plan to commemorate next week's first anniversary of the Third Papuan People's Congress when at least three Papuans were killed and many injured when security forces broke up the peaceful Jayapura gathering."