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Indonesia tightens security in Papua after 9 killed in riots

JAKARTA: Indonesian security forces have tightened security in the town of Wamena in Papua’s easternmost region after nine people were killed in a riot sparked by rumors a child had been kidnapped, an official said on Friday.

More than 200 security forces, including police and military, have been deployed to contain the situation after 14 people were injured in Thursday’s unrest, police said.

The situation remained tense but there had been no further violence, Papua provincial police spokesman Ignatius Benny Ady Prabowo said by phone.

The riot began after locals, angered by rumors of a child abduction, began throwing stones at Wamena police station, where a man accused of abducting a six-year-old was arrested, he said.

Police called the child’s parents to make sure she was safe, but this failed to stem the violence and other buildings in the area were set on fire, he added.

Security forces responded by opening fire, killing nine people and injuring 14, Prabowo said.

Tensions are running high in Papua, one of the poorest and least developed parts of the country, after Separatist rebels kidnapped a New Zealand pilot.

The Indonesian military has said it is ready to conduct a “law enforcement operation” to free the pilot as a last resort if negotiations do not result in his release.

Separatists have waged a low-level struggle for independence since the resource-rich region, once ruled by the Netherlands, was brought under Indonesian control after a controversial United Nations-backed referendum in 1969.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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