RealNews

Civilians Bear Brunt of Aceh Fight

Indonesia is stepping up its military offensive against separatists in Aceh with both sides trading accusations civilians are being targeted in the fighting. So far, the military is claiming the upper hand in its latest push — which began Monday — to wipe out the rebels, claiming more than a dozen have been killed. But rebels say many of the dead are innocent civilians. The commander of the military campaign has denied allegations from the rebel Free Aceh Movement that soldiers killed 10 civilians — including two 12-year-old boys — during a Wednesday raid on a fishing village in northern Aceh. “It’s basically a massacre against civilians,” rebel spokesman Tengku Sofyan Dawood told The Associated Press on Thursday. “This is not a clash or a gunbattle between rebels and the military. It’s the military shooting innocent civilians.” Aceh military chief Major Endang Suwarya denied the allegations. “Absolutely no civilians were killed,” he told the wire service. Full Story

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