Indonesia: May 25, 2003


GAM rebels said that three areas in north Aceh came under attack from Indonesian aircraft, but none of their bases were hit because they
moved positions two days prior. The Indonesian military has not confirmed the report, but it says aircraft have been used at stages in their campaign. Indonesia had also moved two F-16 and four Hawk-200 jet fighters to an air base in the North Sumatra capital of Medan from their home base in Madiun, East Java. 

While Indonesian Brigadier General Bambang Darmono said that three sonic bombs were dropped "aimed at demoralizing the enemy", three explosions were also heard behind a fish market in Lhokseumawe. 

The Indonesian military claimed at least 62 rebels killed since the campaign began, while the rebels say hundreds of soldiers and police (as well as 70 civilians) have died in fighting. The military puts its number of dead at two and civilian fatalities at five. 

Correspondents emerging from the field reportedly saw the bodies of men who have been shot in the head at close range and claimed that Indonesian soldiers were responsible. The Indonesian security forces dismissed the reports as propaganda, but promised to investigate. - Adam Geibel




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