POLICE TAKE CONTROL OF AIRPORT FROM PAPUAN ACTIVISTS

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JAYAPURA, Indonesia (August 5, 2000 – Radio Australia)---Indonesian police have taken control of a remote highland airport from Papuan independence activists who seized it five days earlier.

Police said the airport at Wamena, in the far eastern province of Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, had been taken over on July 31 by about 100 people associated with the pro-independence Presidium of the People of Papua, armed with bows, arrows and clubs.

They had screened those flying in and out of Wamena's airport, saying they were worried refugees from the riot-torn Maluku islands intended to arrive by plane.

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

 

THREE INJURED IN WAMENA RIOTING

JAYAPURA, Indonesia (August 7, 2000 – The Jakarta Post)---Two civilians and one policeman were severely injured in a clamor which broke out in the town of Wamena, Jayawijaya regency, on Saturday.

ANTARA said the police officer was chief Sgt. S. Tamaela, while one of the civilians was identified as Nasrun. The identity of the other civilian was not known.

The three are now being treated for severe wounds at the intensive care unit of the local hospital.

The officer suffered stab wounds to his right arm, while one of Nasrun's ears was severely cut. The other patient was injured in the buttocks. Witnesses said an arrow hit him from behind.

The clash erupted after locals were informed that the chief of the Papuan civilian militia (Satgas) in Wamena was shot dead by police at the airport.

Approximately 2,500 Satgas members, with arrows, swords and other sharp weapons entered the town of Wamena soon after hearing the rumor.

They besieged the Jayawijaya Police station.

A brawl then ensued and warning shots from the police failed to break it up.

The mob dispersed after learning that their chief, Elyas Babinggen, was still alive.

The situation returned to normal by Saturday evening but Wamena remained tense.

KABAR IRIAN ("Irian News") Website: http://www.irja.org/ 

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