Witness: Military involved in Aceh massacre
By Yenni Kwok
JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- A survivor and an eyewitness of a massacre in East Aceh last month have claimed that the Indonesian military were involved in the killings.
At least 30 men were killed when "unknown gunmen" opened fire in a rubber and palm oil plantation, in eastern Aceh on the morning of August 9. Another seven were wounded.
It was the highest number of casualties in a single incident in Aceh this year.
Indonesian security forces and the rebels of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) have accused each other of being responsible for the massacre.
However, in a recorded interview -- taped by a Japanese human-rights organization -- two people have accused the Indonesian military.
A man, one of four men who survived the massacre, said "people wearing military fatigues and carrying M-16 rifles, entered the plantation area from the back of the workers housing".
In a separate interview, an eyewitness, whose husband was killed in the massacre confirmed the arrival of men in military fatigues around 8 a.m.
"It was the military who did the shooting; it was not possible that GAM did it."
"They could not speak Acehnese," she said, adding that she only saw about 10 men involved in the massacre.
"They asked: Are these Acehnese or Javanese? I said, Acehnese. They only nodded their heads and did not speak more. Then, they rounded up all men, and did not allow the women to come out from the house."
According to the Japanese organization -- Network for Indonesian Democracy, Japan (NINDJA) -- the witness account confirmed that it was the Indonesian military who arrived at the scene.
A leaked report of a fact-finding team, set up by the regent of East Aceh, also revealed the arrival of men in military fatigues speaking Indonesian.
The report concluded that an ambulance from the Indonesian Red Cross arrived around 2 p.m., some six hours later, and took the bodies to a nearby hospital.
Fearing for their safety, the two eyewitnesses have since left the plantation area to seek refuge in their home village in North Aceh.
Jakarta has deployed a large number of troops and police officers, mostly from other parts of Indonesia, to crush the separatist Free Aceh Movement.
Thousands of people have died in the conflict. In this year alone, more than one thousand people have been killed, most of them believed to be civilians.
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