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JAYAPURA, West Papua (July 29, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Two men attempting to hoist a separatist flag were shot to death by Indonesian police Friday.

Hospital representatives in the coastal city of Soring said the men were killed during a raid on residents involved in raising the rebel "Morning Star" flag.

They said there was a skirmish with police who broke the flagpoles and pulled the flags down.

For years raising the Morning Star flag was outlawed, but under an agreement earlier this year Jakarta said the flag could be raised if it was not placed higher than the Indonesian national flag.

It is not immediately clear why police opened fire on the flag-raisers.

West Papua shares the island of New Guinea with independent Papua New Guinea.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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