Five dead after Papuan independence rally: police

ABEPURA, Indonesia — Three more bodies have been found in eastern Indonesia’s restive Papua province after security forces stormed a pro-independence assembly, bringing the death toll to at least five, police said on Friday.

Hundreds of paramilitary police and army troops fired warning shots, used tear gas and beat participants Wednesday at the Third Papua Congress in the town of Abepura outside the provincial capital Jayapura.

“Five Papuan bodies were found dead Thursday amid the mountains behind a local military office,” Jayapura police chief Imam Setiawan told AFP.

Two of the five bodies were found Thursday morning, one with a head injury and the other with a wound above his left hip, Papua police said.

The Papuan chapter of the National Commission of Human Rights identified the men as university student Matias Maidepa and activist Yacop Sabonsaba.

The other three were found in the evening in the mountains and are undergoing autopsies, Setiawan said.

Antonious L, who saw the bodies as they were taken away from the military station, said he witnessed “bullet holes in the clothing” of the victims.

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