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More casualties in West Papua highlands violence

Radio New Zealand - September 19, 2019

Seven civilians have been injured during a shootout with rebels in West Papua, Indonesia's military says.

But a Papuan pro-independence military group claimed the civilians were shot dead by soldiers during the incident in the Central Highlands.

According to Indonesia's military, Papuan fighters attacked security forces in Puncak regency's Ilaga district on Tuesday.

Detik News reported spokesperson Eko Daryanto saying the rebels shot wildly, injuring local residents in the process.

But the West Papua Liberation Army (WPLA) said the local community was preparing for a tribal war when they were attacked by police and military.

A spokesperson said seven civilians were killed after a combined attack by helicopters and ground vehicles.

Separately, officials told local media a cargo plane with four people on board went missing en route to Ilaga on Monday.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/399139/more-casualties-in-west-papua-highlands-violence