Gunmen kill food vendor in Indonesia

2012-01-21 13:00
Jayapura - Gunmen shot and killed a man in the latest deadly attack in eastern Indonesia's Papua province, police said on Saturday.

The 31-year-old food vendor was shot in the back late Friday in a village in Puncak Jaya district in central Papua, believed to be a hub of Papuan separatists, local police chief Alex Korwa said

"He was shot dead when he was alone in his kiosk. Nobody saw the incident but locals heard a series of gunshots and reported it to us," Korwa told AFP, adding that the body has been sent to a nearby hospital.

In December, two policemen were killed by an unidentified armed group in the same area. Hundreds of paramilitary reinforcements had been sent there in October after a police officer was killed in a similar ambush.

"The OPM (The Free Papua Movement) might be one of possible attackers," Korwa said referring to the separatist group, mostly poorly armed who have fought a low-level insurgency for decades.

Two contractors working for US company Freeport-McMoRan in the province were found dead last week near a giant gold-and-copper mine that has been hit by a strike and violence for months.

Natives of the Papua region have rejected their special autonomy status within Indonesia, demanding a referendum on self-determination for the 3.6 million population.

Indonesia has strict treason laws and courts have handed down stiff penalties - from 20 years in jail to life - for people caught with separatist symbols such as the Papuan flag.

Read more on:    indonesia

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