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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 January 2006, 07:57 GMT
Papua 'rebels' held over killings
By Rachel Harvey
BBC News, Jakarta

Police in Indonesia's Papua province have detained 12 people over the 2002 murder of two American schoolteachers and their Indonesian companion.

The three victims were ambushed and shot dead near the US-owned Freeport gold mine where they worked.

Local police said they suspected that all 12 detainees were members of the separatist Free Papua Movement.

Human rights groups have consistently said they suspected that the Indonesian military was involved in the killings.

But they say that such allegations have never been properly followed up.

Local police say further questioning is needed to determine how many of the 12 detainees may have had a role in the killing of the schoolteachers.

They have confirmed, however, that Antonious Wamang, who was indicted by a United States grand jury in 2004 following a lengthy FBI investigation, is among those being held.

Beyond that, much is still unclear. For instance, what prompted the police to act now, four years after the incident and two years after the US indictment?

Speaking to local radio, the police chief in Papua referred only to what he called "old evidence", such as fingerprints found at the crime scene.

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