JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia says one solider has been killed in an ongoing clash between security forces and Papuan independence fighters near the U.S.-owned Grasberg copper mine in the country's east.
Military spokesman Col. Muhammad Aidi says the soldier was shot in the head and died Sunday afternoon.
He said Monday that a military and police force is hunting an "armed separatist criminal group."
Aidi denied purported National Liberation Army of West Papua rebel claims that numerous Indonesian soldiers were killed in clashes and a 10-year-old boy had died in a fire caused by the Indonesian attack.
The liberation army said one of its fighters was killed.
An insurgency has simmered in Papua since the early 1960s when Indonesia annexed the mineral rich region.