Papuan leaders protest Indonesian attack on village

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Papuan leaders have protested an Indonesian military and police operation against separatists they say endangered the lives of villagers in the remote easternmost province.

Yairus Gwijangge, head of the Nduga region, said security forces fired on Alguru village with helicopter sorties on Wednesday, attempting to root out independence fighters they believed were based there.

Yunus Wonda, the head of Papua province's parliament, condemned the operation and on Friday called on security forces to leave the occupied village. He said villagers were "traumatized." No casualties have been reported so far.

A local police chief, Yan Pieter Reba, said security forces were responding to recent attacks by gunmen that killed paramilitary police and civilians.

A pro-independence insurgency has simmered in the formerly Dutch-controlled region since it was annexed by Indonesia in 1963.