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OPM: Indonesian police kill fourteen Papuan separatists JAKARTA - The separatist Free Papua Organization (OPM) on Thursday claimed fourteen of its members have allegedly been killed during a recent police raid in the district of Paniai in Indonesia's restive Papua region, the Jakarta Globe reported.

Leo Yeimo, spokesman for the Paniai chapter of the outlawed rebel group, said the fourteen members were killed on Tuesday when police forces raided one of its sites in the town of Eduda. He said the bodies of those killed have been evacuated from the group's former headquarters, which has since been transformed into a police station.

"We were constantly attacked by Indonesian security forces from the land as well as from helicopter. They even fired randomly at our headquarters, so many people fell victim," he told the newspaper. Leo said the group's leader, John Magay Yogi, escaped the raid unharmed.

"We are still being pursued [on Thursday]," the spokesman said, adding that guerrillas will launch an attack against Indonesian security forces if they 'continue to harass civilians.' "Helicopters are constantly looking for our hideouts. We know the terrain better so we will fight until the last drop of blood we have, we will never surrender."

Meanwhile, Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wachyono said he could not confirm the claims made by Leo, but acknowledged an operation was taking place. "We don't know if there were casualties on the OPM side. What is clear is that they were attacked because they attacked us first," he said.

Wachyono said the police confiscated two assault rifles and 53 rounds of ammunition as well as dozens of sharp weapons and bows from the OPM base during the raid. Officers also seized separatist paraphernalia, including an outlawed Morning Star Flag, a symbol of Papuan independence.

Police have intensified their crackdown on the OPM after a recent series of suspected guerrilla attacks in the province left five officers dead. According to people living in Eduda, more police officers and military soldiers have been deployed to the area, displacing a number of civilian residents.

Violence has been escalating in Papua since the Third Papuan People's Congress was held in mid-October in Abepura, Jayapura. Six people were found dead following the gathering of pro-independence activists, which was dispersed by Indonesian security forces who fired warning shots and tear gas.

Violence has plagued Papua since 1969 when Indonesia took over control of the region from the Dutch, ignoring Papuan demands for political sovereignty. Jakarta granted the region special autonomy in 2001, but this failed to quell widespread separatist sentiments.


Related blog entries (category 'Violence') Related blog entries (category 'Violence'):
15 December 2011 · More violence hits Kuta tourist district
02 December 2011 · Two police officers attacked by armed group in Papua
17 November 2011 · Indonesian activists: 8 killed during clashes at gold mine
07 November 2011 · Govt awaiting results of police probe into Papua congress incidents
21 September 2011 · One dead in Klungkung clash over temple ground
12 September 2011 · National police deployed after clashes in Ambon kill 6

Related blog entries (category 'Violence') Tags: separatists, murder, raid, police, OPM


Posted in Violence @ 15 December 2011 22:03 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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