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June 23, 2021
Breaking News International Pacific

PNG Indonesia Border On Lockdown

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People living along the PNG-Indonesia border have reported a build up of Indonesian troop numbers following clashes with armed West Papuan elements this morning.

Villagers at Wutung reported that school children were told to return home at midday, and public transport operators  have been discouraged from taking passengers to the Batas market on the Indonesian side of the border.

Those close to the border, said gunshots were exchanged between Indonesian military and members of a rebel faction  near the Batas market.

There are unconfirmed reports that two members of the Indonesian military have been shot. A statement released by a group calling itself the West Papua Revolutionary Army (WPRA)  has claimed responsibility for the shooting.

However, as of 10pm, PNG time,  EMTV was not able to independently verify the shootings.

September 2019 remains the bloodiest to date for the West Papuan fight for self governance.

Fresh protests then had also led to hundreds of police and soldiers deployed to the Cendrawasih University  in Jayapura.

Students at the Cendrawasih University protesting

Students who gathered in front of the University auditorium,  posted live videos on Facebook reported that  Police and military had surrounded the university and were ordering them to end the gathering.

And in Wamena, soldiers fired shots to disperse a protest by high school students injuring several of them.

Courtesy Reuters: President Joko Widodo has said he remains open to talks over West Papua

This morning’s clashes could spell a more active role by PNG to contain cross border activities.

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