Published On: Thu, Jun 7th, 2012

More violence in Papua: Indonesian soldiers open fire on civilians; one dead, 17 wounded

Indonesian soldiers opened fire on a group of civilians in an act of revenge after a deadly conflict occurred between civilians and military personnel over a road mishap on Wednesday.

The AFP reports, the shootings took place late Wednesday after residents, angry that two soldiers on a motorcycle hit and injured a child, stabbed one of the troops to death and seriously injured the other in the city of Wamena.

Soon after the incident, soldiers from the local military arrived in two trucks and took revenge by firing gunshots toward local residents and setting at least 37 houses on fire. The result was 18 civilians were shot with one person killed, 17 injured.

The violence later spread to the city center were several businesses were damaged by gunfire.

Violence in the Land of Papua has been a huge problem since the beginning of the year. This has caused Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono  to appoint members to a dialogue team in order to intensify dialogue with stakeholders both in the Land of Papua and Jakarta.

The dialogue team would work on ending the shootings in the Land of Papua.

According the the Asian Human Rights Commission, from January to the end of May 2012, there have been 17 shooting incidents in the Land of Papua.

The shooting victims include a German national, 55-year-old Pieter Dietmar Helmut, who was shot just meters  from a police station.

In 1969, Indonesia took control of Papua, a former Dutch colony on the western half of New Guinea island, after a vote among a select group of Papuans widely seen as a sham.

map of Indonesia




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- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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