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Questions grow over West Papua kllings

July 14 2009 at 8:53 AM

Rebel leader denies Freeport shooting

By Jakarta correspondent Geoff Thompson

Posted 1 hour 13 minutes ago
Updated 59 minutes ago

A local rebel leader in Indonesia's Papua province says his forces were not responsible for shooting an Australian man dead at the weekend.

Twenty-nine-year-old Melbourne man Drew Grant was shot near the Freeport mine in Papua.

The death toll from the bloody weekend in the region is now three, after Indonesian police said a policeman who fled an ambush had been found dead.

The local commander of the Free Papua Movement, Kelly Kwalik, has denied any role in the attack which killed Mr Grant on Saturday.

Police say the shooting was done with standard-issue police or military weapons.

But when Mr Grant's body was later examined no intact bullets were found, and the doctor who performed the autopsy says bullets may have been removed before he could examine the corpse.

Dr Abdul Mun'im Idries says Mr Grant was killed by four bullets and not five, and all were fired from a distance and from above, except for one which possibly ricocheted from below.

The forensic specialist said he found no intact bullets or exit wounds, only fragmentation.

He could not say with certainty whether the bullets came from military-grade weapons, but he said all of the fragments were from bullets with metal casings, which would be consistent with bullets of a military grade, but also other bullets.

Dr Mun'im said there could have been more than one shooter, as Mr Grant had been shot from two different directions.

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