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Two killed in Papua province protest

JAYAPURA, INDONESIA (AP) – Two people died and several others were wounded at a demonstration against the new autonomous region in Indonesia’s Papua province on Tuesday, police said.

A peaceful demonstration was carried out for three hours in Yahukimo district on Tuesday afternoon. But friction between the people, coupled with a provocation, broke the peace as buildings were set ablaze around the demonstration area. Some participants began clashing with local police officers.

“There were victims both from the police officers and the community who were affected by police actions which resulted in death,” spokesperson of Papua Police Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said in a written statement.

Two people died of gunshots by police officers and several people were also wounded, including a police officer.

Kamal said yesterday that the situation has been brought under control. He said police are planning to add more personnel to the demonstration site, partly to ensure the police there follow procedural standards.

Conflicts between indigenous Papuans and Indonesian security forces are common in the Papua region.

In recent years, some Papua students, including some who study in other provinces, have become vocal in calling for self-determination for their region.