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At least six reported killed by police

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 9, 2009) – Violence has marred polling day for Indonesian parliamentary elections in the country’s remote Papua region, with six people reported dead from police shootings.

The Papua Police Chief, Bagus Ekodanto, says more than 80 Papuans attacked a police post in the provincial capital, Jayapura, before polling stations opened.

Two alleged separatists died in the ensuing clash.

The Reuters news agency also reports that three people died in violence in Wamena as a result of the paramilitary police response to alleged public unrest.

Another incident saw a fuel depot burnt in the town of Biak, killing one person.

Tensions have been running high in Papua after large demonstrations in Nabire and Wamena late last week in which Papuans called for an election boycott in protest at what they see as Jakarta’s neglect of their self-determination aspirations.

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