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By Winis Map and Paul Nengai

PORT MORESBY, PNG (The National, Aug. 10)—Two of the Indonesian fishermen injured on Tuesday afternoon by PNG security forces are recovering at the Vanimo General Hospital.

A senior medical staff from the hospital said the two men underwent surgery yesterday afternoon to remove pellets from their bodies. The operation went smoothly and the men are in stable condition.

The two fishermen, part of a 10-man crew on a motorised boat, were allegedly fishing illegally between Wutung and Mushu villages about 12km inside the PNG side of the PNG-Indonesian border.

A joint police and Defence Force surveillance team patrolling the sea border spotted the fishermen off the coast near Mushu village and fired a warning shot for them to surrender. They tried to escape and were fired upon.

Sources confirmed that the dead fisherman was shot in one of his eyes and the bullet penetrated through his head, killing him instantly. His body is at the Vanimo General Hospital morgue, awaiting a post mortem.

The Vanimo district coroner will, this week, decide whether a coronial inquest into the death of the fisherman was necessary.

Provincial police commander Chief Inspector Richard Mulou said the coroner would make a decision as soon as a post mortem report and other documents are given to him.

However, he said police have begun their own investigations into the incident.

While details of the deceased could not be released, The National understands that the fishermen are from Salewesi but live in the Madela suburb in Jayapura, Indonesia.

The Indonesian Consult in Vanimo had expressed regret at the death of the fisherman and said the family of the deceased were yesterday informed of the incident.

Consul general Kristanyo Hardojo yesterday said the death of an Indonesian civilian in the hands of the PNG security forces was the first of its kind and was regrettable.

The provincial intelligence committee was understood to have urgently met on Tuesday afternoon, and was in session again yesterday to discuss the situation.

About three weeks ago, three Indonesian fishing boats were caught by a PNG surveillance team and their skippers and crewmen brought to Vanimo.

All of them are in Vanimo prison awaiting their court appearances.

August 10, 2006

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