TIMIKA: Two people died and three others were injured when a solider opened fire on a group of civilians in Indonesia’s restive Papua province, a military official said on Friday.
Papua military spokesman Teguh Pudji Rahardjo said the incident began when a soldier was attacked by a mob in Timika.
A second soldier who came to his aid was also set upon he said prompting one of the troops to fire several shots to dispel the crowd.
“Two people died and three other civilians were injured,” Rahardjo told reporters. The two deceased men were 18 and 23 years, local media reported.
In a statement, the Indonesian military condemned the actions of its troops.
“This was a criminal act committed by Indonesian army soldiers, therefore it is now being handled by internal affairs,” military spokesman E Sodik said.
It is difficult to independently verify information from Papua, as Jakarta keeps a tight grip on the resource-rich region with a heavy police and military presence and there are restrictions on foreigners reporting from the area.