Police in Indonesia have killed a prominent Papua separatist figure, sparking rioting among the local residents.

Mako Tabuni was shot dead in the city of Jayapura in the turbulent province after resisting arrest. Police had wanted to arrest him on charges of fomenting unrest in the region that has sought independence from Indonesia ever since it was annexed in 1969.

Tabuni was reportedly unarmed during the fatal encounter with police.

Outraged Papuans set fire to cars and homes in Jayapura after news of Tabuni's death spread.