1 Mar 2013

Indonesian military in large sweep to hunt down Papuan guerillas

2:29 pm on 1 March 2013

Indonesian soldiers have reportedly infiltrated villages in the region of Papua province's Puncak Jaya regency where eight soldiers and four civilians were shot dead last week.

West Papua Media reports that the military has launched a large sweep operation involving more than 1,000 soldiers in the hunt for members of the West Papua National Liberation Army, which has claimed responsibility for the fatal attacks

Reports from local church, human rights and other sources in the area indicate hundreds of soldiers are occupying villages in Sinak, Gurage, Mulia and Tingginambut.

There are fears of a major humanitarian disaster unfolding with the reports of the destruction of food gardens and livestock by soldiers.

Human rights workers say local people are terrified of the military and have fled to the bush.