Police Officer Killed in Papua Ambush

(Jakarta Globe) One policeman was killed and six others injured when a group of armed men attacked their convoy in Tingginambut, Puncak Jaya district, Papua Province, on Wednesday, in the latest in a series of bloody attacks in the region.

“We suspect the attack was carried out by Goliat Tabuni, an OPM leader,” Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Bagus Ekodanto said, referring to the Free Papua Movement, which has been waging a low-level struggle for independence for the resource-rich province since the 1960s.

“We are also trying to find out if this is related to the previous incidents.”

The convoy, which included 13 officers from the Puncak Jaya district police and the Papua Mobile Brigade, deployed to the area to provide security during the April 9 legislative elections, was on its way to the Tingginambut Police station, about 10 kilometers from Puncak Jaya, to pick up several sick police officers and transfer them to a hospital in Puncak Jaya.

‘We will deploy our personnel to help the police following this fatal attack’

Maj. Gen. AY Nasution, military commander

“As the convoy was approaching Lumbul village, about two kilometers from the Tingginambut Police station, it was attacked by at least 10 unidentified armed assailants,” said Comr. Marcelis, deputy chief of the Puncak Jaya district police.

Second Brig. Dantje Musa Animan was shot in the ambush and died several hours later.

“We tried to save his life by rushing him to [provincial capital] Jayapura by air, but unfortunately he died 15 minutes after taking off from Puncak Jaya,” Marcelis said.

Six other officers, identified as Kamarul Huda, Adam Anos, Haerudin Hamid, Basri Aneke, Ronald Patigaya and Nusran, were injured in the incident. They are being treated at Puncak Jaya Hospital and will be transferred to Jayapura on Thursday morning.

“The other police officers were uninjured because they were in another vehicle when the incident took place,” Marcelis said.

“They came back to help their colleagues but it was too late. The attackers had disappeared back into the jungle.”

After the incident, the Cendrawasih Military Command said it would deploy 1,000 soldiers to guard police stations across the province.

“We have decided to deploy our personnel to help the police following this fatal attack,” said Maj. Gen. AY Nasution, commander of the military command.

The attack came just days after armed assailants killed four transmigrants in Wamena, Jayawijaya district.

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