April 6, 2009 / 10:47 AM / in 9 years

Indonesian police shoot 11 in Papua protest - hospital

NABIRE, Indonesia, April 6 (Reuters) - Indonesian police shot and injured 11 people on Monday at a pro-independence rally in Papua province, where demonstrators urged an election boycott and protested about a police raid, a hospital worker said.

Indonesia holds parliamentary elections on Thursday, and a presidential election on July 8.

But in Papua, on the western half of New Guinea island, where a separatist movement has simmered for decades, some Papuans have been calling for a boycott of the election.

"At least 11 people were shot and brought to the hospital. One of them was a primary school-aged child," said Marsel, a worker at the Nabire Regional Public Hospital.

Marsel, who has only one name, said of the 11 injured, four were in a critical condition.

Habel Nawipa, a member of the West Papuan National Committee (KNPB), a pro-independence organisation, said that the protest followed a dawn raid by police on the KNPB office in Nabire.

"Several armed police set fire to the office and took 15 people to the Nabire police station," he said.

Nabire police chief, Rinto Djatmono, declined to comment. (Reporting by John Pakage, Writing by Sunanda Creagh; Editing by Sara Webb)






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