Agence France Presse

Jakarta, March 13:

Indonesia has sent seven navy frogmen to a small reef that Malaysia has also claimed as its territory, a report said today. The elite troops were dropped on the Karang Unarang reef in the Sulawesi Sea from an aircraft, navy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Guntur Wahyudi told the state-run Antara news agency without giving a date. Wahyudi said the frogmen were deployed on the reef to assist with work to construct a lighthouse there. The area is claimed by both Indonesia and Malaysia. Last month, Indonesian workers working on the lighthouse complained that Malaysian troops had roughed them up.

The incident further fueled the tension between the two countries that had erupted after Kuala Lumpur awarded an offshore oil concession contract to an international oil company in the disputed area. Although the leaders of the two countries have already agreed to settle border disagreements through dialogue, anger against Malaysia has remained strong among some Indonesians. Anti-Malaysian groupings in several Indonesian towns and cities have opened registration for volunteers in case war broke out with Malaysia over the issue.

Meanwhile, former Indonesian president Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid today called on his countrymen to remain calm and not resort to violence despite their anger against Malaysia.