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Indonesia Uses 'Shock Therapy' in Aceh Offensive

Indonesia has deployed F-16 fighter jets in its offensive against separatist rebels in Aceh, sending sonic booms across the province as part of “shock therapy” tactics, the military said on Tuesday. Aceh military spokesman Colonel Ditya Sudarsono said the jets were used for the first time on Monday, flying over several rebel strongholds including Bireun, 105 miles east of the provincial capital Banda Aceh. “Even if it’s not effective, this really is a shock therapy,” Sudarsono told the leading El Shinta radio station. Another spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Achmad Yani Basuki, denied local media reports on Tuesday that jet fighters had dropped bombs on rebel positions. “Yesterday’s attack is what we call a sonic boom,” Basuki told Reuters. “Up to now there have not been any bombs.” The region around Bireun has seen some of the heaviest fighting since the government launched a fresh offensive nearly four weeks ago to try to crush the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). At least 230 people have died in the campaign. Full Story

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