Jakarta (dpa) - Security forces killed at least four people and wounded 16 others during clashes in Indonesia's province of Papua, a resident and police said Tuesday.
A group of youths gathered Monday in the town of Ebarotali to protest against security forces who beat up a local boy the night before, community leader John Gobay told dpa.
"Security personnel fired randomly at people gathering in a field," killing four, Gobay said.
Papua police chief Yotje Mende said they opened fired when the crowd attacked the police station, local media reported.
Papuan news site Majalahselangkah.com said five high school students were killed and 17 other people were wounded.
The Jakarta Globe said the death toll later rose to six, without naming sources.
Paniai police chief Daniel Prayonggo on Tuesday confirmed the toll of four, but declined to give details, saying police were investigating.
Sunday's original incident was reportedly sparked when local teenagers manning a checkpoint stopped a pickup carrying security forces and told the driver to turn the headlights on, starting an argument.
The driver later returned with some other men and assaulted a12-year-old boy working at the checkpoint, the Jakarta Globe said, citing local leader Gobay.
Resource-rich but under-developped Papua has been the scene of low-level separatist conflicts for decades and there have been sporadic clashes between security forces and suspected rebels.