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August 24, 2017

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Indonesian authorities wage war on rampaging macaques

Jakarta -- Soldiers, police and civilian sharpshooters have been enlisted to wage war on macaques who have wreaked havoc on villages in Indonesia's province of Central Java, media reports said Friday.

Hordes of long-tailed macaques have been attacking crops, livestock and people in two villages for the past two months, the online news website Solopos reported.

Residents have been advised to stay indoors and close their windows after about a dozen people were injured in monkey invasions.

The latest victim was an 82-year-old man, who required 42 stitches following an attack on Tuesday, Solopos said.

"During the next week, police, soldiers and members of Perbakin (National Rifle Association) will wage an open war against the wild monkeys," Sukimin, a village chief, was quoted as saying.

"We will happily provide accommodation for them during the week."

Local police chief Margono said the aim was not to kill the monkeys but to scare them and personnel would only use rubber bullets.

Monkeys that are caught or shot will be handed over to the local nature conservancy agency, said Margono.

"Our mission is to protect people and their crops," he was quoted as saying by Merdeka.com news portal.

Monkey invasions are an annual occurrence in parts of Central Java.

Locals said attacks were prompted by a scarcity of food for the primates in surrounding forests as a result of the dry season.

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