Five West Papuan people were shot dead and 12 others injured when Indonesian troops and police fired into a crowd of civilians in the highlands region of Paniai on Monday.
Local sources quoted by newspaper Suara Papua say the crowd had gathered in Karel Gobay Square in Paniai to protest against a group of Indonesian soldiers, who they say had beaten a 12-year-old boy the previous night.
A group of boys aged 12 and 13 stopped a military vehicle on Sunday night to complain that it was being driven without headlights.
Newspaper editor Victor Mambor, from Tabloid Jubi, also quoting local sources, said the boys were living in a small house they had built by the side of the road — a common feature of Christmas celebrations across Papua.
After the boys had stopped them, the driver and passenger of the military vehicle returned to their base in the village of Madi, and then returned to where the boys were, bringing with them a group of fellow soldiers in trucks. The soldiers then beat at least one of the boys, the local sources said.
Mr Mambor said that, on Monday morning, a crowd gathered to protest, and attacked a military vehicle, at which point the police and military fired into the crowd, killing five.Watch undercover West Papua documentary, Forgotten Bird of Paradise