Here's why it's difficult to pin down Indonesia's firebugs


Among the areas destroyed by fires in Sumatra is the Giam Siak Kecil biosphere reserve, home to rare and endangered species. The practice of open burning to clear land is illegal but appears to take place annually in Indonesia. Photo: AFP

By PHILIP JACOBSON and JOGI SIRAIT

As fires burn across Indonesia as badly as since the disaster of 1997, blanketing parts of the country and its neighbours in a noxious haze, a variety of assertions have been made as to precisely who and what are responsible for the flames, widely used as a tool for clearing land.

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