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Protesters torch buildings as new unrest erupts in Indonesia’s Papua

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Protesters torched buildings on Monday as fresh violence erupted in Indonesia’s rebellious Papua province, police said.

Two weeks of unrest that began in late August killed at least five people in Papua and West Papua provinces.

It was sparked by perceived heavy-handed and racist treatment of Papuan students by security personnel on Java island.

Protesters set fire to the district office in Wamena and other public buildings in the latest outbreak of violence, local media reported.

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National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said security personnel had been deployed to quell the new outbreak of violence.

“We are trying to prevent the anarchic action from spreading,” he told reporters.

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There were no reports of casualties.

Authorities imposed an internet blackout on Papua and West Papua provinces on Aug. 21 in an attempt to restore order after protesters set fire to buildings and attacked security forces.

Internet access has since been restored.

Authorities in Jakarta said five people were killed during the unrest, but local activists said they recorded at least 13 deaths.

The two weeks of protests saw thousands of people march through the streets of the two provinces, many chanting “Free Papua!”

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The region has been the scene of a low-level separatist insurgency since the 1960s.

dpa/NAN

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