A Losing battle

Bilal looks down at the bloody corpse of his neighbor, Mohammed Ishak, and says: "They must have hated him very much to put so many bullets into his body." Like other residents of Alue Bieng, an idyllically beautiful village in Indonesia's war-ravaged province of Aceh, Bilal heard the shots in the early hours of June 3 but didn't dare to venture outside until well past dawn. The sight that greeted him is so commonplace in Aceh as to be almost banal: Ishak, a 51-year-old farmer who was standing watch over Alue Bieng that night, was sprawled on a wooden platform used...

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