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12 Dead in Indonesia Violence

September 2, 2001

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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ Unidentified gunman killed a local legislator in Indonesia’s Aceh province, while aid workers found 11 corpses, police and volunteers said Sunday.

Zaini Sulaiman, a member of Aceh’s provincial council, was shot and killed on Saturday outside his house in the provincial capital Banda Aceh, said police spokesman Lt. Col. Sudarsono.

Officers suspect that separatist rebels were behind the assassination, said Sudarsono, who like many Indonesians only uses one name.

A spokesman for the insurgents denied any involvement in the killing.

Indonesian Red Cross officials said they found 11 bodies in different locations in the province on the northern tip of Sumatra Island on Friday and Saturday. All were believed to be the victims of separatist violence.

Rebels are currently holding three local journalists and six sailors hostage in the region, security officials say.

Insurgents have been fighting for independence for their gas- and oil-rich province, about 1,100 miles northwest of Jakarta, for 26 years.

More than 6,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the past decade.

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