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5 suspected rebels killed in clash in Indonesia

August 1, 2014

JAYAPURA, Indonesia (AP) — Five suspected rebels were killed Friday in a clash with Indonesian soldiers in restive Papua province, the military said.

The clash occurred in the mountainous district of Lanny Jaya when a group of gunmen ambushed a passing army motorcade in Pirime subdistrict, Papua army chief Maj. Gen. Christian Zebua said.

He said two soldiers were wounded in the clash.

Zebua said there were 17 cars in the motorcade carrying soldiers assigned to hunt rebels who had attacked a group of police on Sunday in Lanny Jaya, killing two officers and injuring four others.

Media reports say armed groups have killed 30 officers and stolen 20 firearms in the region this year.

Papua, a former Dutch colony in the western part of New Guinea, was incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a U.N.-sponsored ballot. A small, poorly armed separatist group called the Free Papua Movement has been battling for independence since then.

Update hourly