Three people have been killed in Indonesia's restive eastern region of Papua, police said yesterday, in an attack claimed by separatists during which a soldier was shot dead and a civilian hacked to death.
A third civilian died after jumping into a ravine while trying to escape the ambush in the Puncak Jaya district, police said.
Tuesday's attack was claimed by a local leader of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM) who said only members of the security forces were killed, not civilians.
Attacks on security forces are common in Papua, where poorly-armed militants have for decades fought an insurgency on behalf of the mostly ethnic Melanesian population.
Papua province police spokesman I Gde Sumerta said that there was "an exchange of fire, the gunmen killed the soldier by shooting him in the head".
The attackers then used a machete to hack to death the male civilian driving the car the soldier had been travelling in, the spokesman said.
A second male civilian travelling with the group died after jumping into a nearby ravine as he tried to flee from the attack, said Sumerta, adding his body was found early Thursday.