West Papuan student Massacre. Shocking new article from the Guardian.
* Death toll may be higher
* Many of the dead were children
* Internet and communications have been cut
Witness testimony from Wamena, the largest town in Papua’s remote Baliem Valley, run in stark contrast to the Indonesian authorities’ official account.
Since Monday’s riot, the Guardian has spoken to several witnesses who suggest not only that the death toll may be significantly higher than the official toll, but also that the Indonesian police may have been involved.
Lukas, a 19-year-old Papuan college student who joined the demonstration on Monday, said that as the chaos unfolded on the street, the police opened fire on students, who fought back.
“There was a shootout and we fought back with rocks and arrows. The police shot at the Papuans. There were about 16 to 20 people who died directly on the street that I saw.”
Yet one witness account from inside the Wamena general hospital suggests there were more, and that many of the dead were children.
Sources on the ground say police and military are guarding the Wamena hospital, effectively blocking access to anyone who tries to independently verify the number of fatalities.