Police kill separatist rebel leader in Papua | world | Hindustan Times
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Police kill separatist rebel leader in Papua

world Updated: Dec 16, 2009 12:09 IST
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Police shot to death a separatist rebel leader on Wednesday during a raid on a house in restive Papua province, an official said.

Kelly Kwalik was fatally shot as he tried to escape an early morning police raid on a house in the town of Timika, provincial police spokesman Lt. Col. Agus Riyanto said. He was shot in the thigh and died afterward after being taken to a clinic for treatment.

Police had heard that Kwalik was hiding in the house and had planned to arrest him, Riyanto added. It was not immediately clear what police intended to charge him with before he died. Indonesia's local military have accused Kwalik of firing on vehicle convoys heading to and from the world's largest gold mine, operated by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona. The mine in central Papua is near Timika.

Kwalik's separatist activities also made him a fugitive. Independence activists have been protesting Indonesian rule since a United Nations ballot placed the former Dutch colony under Jakarta's control in 1969. Police have been accused of brutality against the secessionists.

Human rights group Amnesty International last month accused police of abuses in Papua, Indonesia's easternmost province. The London-based organization alleged that police officers have killed two men and beaten dozens of demonstrators taken into custody since late last year.