Indonesia probes Papua shooting, denies police abuse

Indonesia probes Papua shooting, denies police abuse


JAKARTA - Indonesia is investigating the shooting of a teenager at a military post on the Papua border, but dismissed allegations of police abuse during recent raids in the province, officials said on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old Papuan male was wounded on Monday at a border crossing between West Papua and Papua New Guinea after soldiers fired warning shots when they encountered five people carrying weapons, a military spokesman said.

"Six military personnel from that post are currently being questioned by military police over the incident," Papua military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Soesilo said.

Separately, a U.S.-based rights group said in a statement that seven young Papuan women had been kidnapped and raped, several killed, livestock attacked and homes burned in a series of police sweeps conducted since April.

"As far as I know, these claims are not true," a spokesman for Indonesia's foreign ministry, Teuku Faizasyah, said.

The rights group, the West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT), said police sweeps had been conducted in five villages around the Puncak Jaya district. It did not give a source for the information.

National police spokesman, Abubakar Nataprawira, also denied the allegations and said there had been no police operations in the area since before April.

"No one was killed and no one was kidnapped," he said.

There is a heavy military and police presence in resource-rich West Papua -- where a secessionist movement has simmered for decades.

The number of security personnel has also been increased after tensions rose ahead of Indonesian parliamentary elections on April 9.

(Reporting by Sunanda Creagh; Additional reporting by Oka Barta Daud in Timika; Editing by Ed Davies)