JAYAPURA (The Guardian/Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch): Police-backed armed militias have killed three West Papuan students in Abepura district, Jayapura, reports the Guardian.
The students were reportedly killed in their dormitories as they tried to defend themselves from a pro-Jakarta group calling itself Masyarakat Nusantara (Archipelago Community).
The reports come as new video shows soldiers firing at a crowd of peaceful demonstrators outside a government office in Deiyai last week. Six people were reportedly killed during the attack but police have so far denied the claim.
At least one person has been killed as police intervened in an attack on West Papuans from a mob of violent Jayapura residents last week, reports Al Jazeera.
According to an eyewitness, residents in Jayapura’s administrative village of Argapura stopped a car carrying six Papuans from the highlands and attacked them with machetes before police arrived and evacuated them to a house.
Police secured the house but residents followed and began throwing rocks. Police responded by firing rubber bullets and one of the residents was hit and killed according to the witness.
The Deputy Mayor of Jayapura Rustan Saru, confirmed the death to Al Jazeera saying that the attacks by residents were in response to damage to property and businesses during the Papuan demonstrations.
An extra 6,000 security personnel have been deployed to Papua after protests began spreading across the region two weeks ago, reports RNZ.
While the protests were sparked in response to racism and prejudice levied at Papuans, they have since developed to incorporate the West Papuan cause for self-determination.
An ongoing internet blackout has been widely condemned as an impediment to accurate reporting of the situation in Papua and Indonesia.