RealNews

Four People Killed, Helicopters Fired on in Aceh Encounters

At least three suspected rebels and one military personnel were killed in armed encounters between government troops and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) on Tuesday and Wednesday, a striking reminder that peace was slipping away quickly in Aceh. Also on Wednesday, two military helicopters were fired on while monitoring the situation above Lhokseumawe, North Aceh. Indonesian Military (TNI) spokesman Lt. Col. Firdaus Komarno accused the separatist movement of being behind the shooting, which, according to military spokesman Col. J. Nachrowi, damaged the helicopters, but the pilots made emergency landings. “We are concerned that the situation is getting worse,” Nachrowi told AFP. GAM quickly denied the allegation, saying that it was a strategy of the TNI to discredit GAM and to justify plans for a military operation in Aceh. Full Story

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