Indonesian army says eight soldiers killed in Papua

BBC Map

Related Stories

Eight soldiers have been shot dead in two separate attacks by armed men in Indonesia's Papua province, the army has said.

A spokesman told the BBC that one soldier was killed when a military post in mountainous Puncak Jaya district was attacked - two attackers also died.

Seven soldiers died when they were ambushed not far away shortly after, said Jansen Simanjuntak.

Insurgents calling for independence have been active in Papua for decades.

It is one of the country's richest provinces in terms of natural resources - but also one of the least developed.

Thursday's attacks were the biggest to hit the military this year.

Mr Simanjuntak said that in the first incident, in the village of Tingginambut, one soldier died instantly when he was shot in the chest and that another was injured.

In the second, nine soldiers who were on patrol were ambushed by unidentified assailants.

Mr Simanjuntak said there were no plans yet to send additional troops to Papua, but that additional police had been deployed to find those responsible.

Restive province

The Indonesian government "strongly condemned the brutal incident", a security minister, Djoko Suyanto, told the AFP news agency.

"Based on our intelligence, there are several [separatist] groups in the area," Mr Suyanto told reporters, saying that he suspected the separatist Free Papua Movement of the attacks.

Papua became Indonesia's easternmost province in a controversial election in 1969 that many Papuans say was a sham, says the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in Jakarta.

The poorly armed Free Papua Movement has battled for independence ever since.

The Indonesian government says it is too dangerous for foreign journalists to travel to the restive province, although human rights groups say that it is Jakarta's way of keeping journalists out, says our correspondent.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories

RSS

Features

  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    Selection of the best news photographs from around the world


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • StampsPost Independence

    Will stamps get cheaper if Scots go it alone?


  • Rhea10 things

    Rhea birds can be extremely dangerous, plus other factlets


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.