Indonesia 'Sorry for Smoke Haze'

Created: 2013-06-25 22:47 EST

Category: World

Illegal slash-and-burn ground clearance in Indonesia has blanketed neighboring Singapore and Malaysia in choking smoke for days.

Indonesia's president has issued an apology.

[Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesian President]:
"For what has happened, as president, I apologize and ask for the understanding of our brothers in Singapore and Malaysia."

Indonesian police on Monday arrested two farmers they accused of illegally starting fires.

They're the first detentions linked to the fires lit to clear land for palm oil plantations.

But police say neither of the farmers has ties to companies the government blames for Southeast Asia's worst air pollution crisis in years.

The air pollution has hit record levels considered life-threatening for the sick and the elderly.