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Military Says It Killed Aceh Separatist Leader

January 24, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Indonesian troops killed the military commander of the separatist Free Aceh Movement in a raid on his jungle base, the military said.

Abdullah Syafei was shot in the head and chest Tuesday during fierce fighting in northern Aceh, Lt. Col. Supartodi said.

The death of the charismatic Syafei would deal a serious blow to the independence movement, which has been under severe military pressure since President Megawati Sukarnoputri ordered a crackdown last July. Rebels said they had heard reports of their leader's death but were unable to confirm it because security forces were surrounding the area.

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