Indonesia: January 24, 2005


Eyewitness reports indicate that the Indonesian army in Aceh suffered much higher casualties from the December 26 earthquake and tidal wave, than they have admitted. The official figure is a less than a hundred dead and missing. But people in the area report that hundreds, and probably thousands, of soldiers and policemen were killed. The army has most of its camps close to the coast, while the Aceh separatist rebels are in camps hidden in the mountain forests. There are 35,000 soldiers, and 15,000 police in Aceh, fighting several thousand armed separatists. The government is winning, at least in terms of maintaining control over most of the four million people in Aceh, and keeping the valuable gas and oil fields operating. 




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