Indonesian soldiers drown in Aceh

Eight Indonesian soldiers are feared to have drowned after falling into the sea from a helicopter in Aceh province while rehearsing for a military show.

    Aceh has been witness to a huge military build-up

    An army spokesman said the accident occurred on Saturday while the soldiers were hanging from a helicopter on ropes, which the chopper-crew were forced to off when a sudden gust of wind threatened to bring down the aircraft.

    "They fell into the sea about 300 metres from the shore," Lieutenant Colonel Achmad Yani Basuki said.

    "We sent a fast motor boat to hunt for them but when they arrived in the area they could not see them and we fear they may have drowned," he said.

    He declined to say which unit the men were from but the Antara state news agnecy said they were from the Special Forces Command, known as Kopassus.

    Army Show

    The soldiers were practicing for the Armed Forces Day on Sunday.

    On the northern tip of Sumatra island, Aceh has been under martial law since 19 May after the Indonesian army launched a massive offensive against separatist rebels.

    At least 839 suspected rebels, 52 Indonesian soldiers, 11 policemen and 300 civilians have been killed in the continuing conflict.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.