Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed condolences of the Indonesian people, who mourned the deaths of construction workers murdered while building a bridge in Nduga District, Papua Province.

"I, on behalf of the people, nation, and state, convey deepest condolences to all families of the victims. Let us together pray that the souls of the heroes of Trans Papua development, are accepted besides God, the Almighty," Jokowi informed the press here, Wednesday.

Commander of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto and Deputy Police Chief Commissioner General Ari Dono are currently in Papua to handle the tragedy, according to the president.

Jokowi has ordered leaders of the TNI and National Police to catch every perpetrator involved in the murders.

"I affirm that there is no place for armed criminal groups like this in the land of Papua as well as in every corner of the country," he stated.

The incident has, in fact, strengthened the nation`s determination to develop Papua, he remarked.

Meanwhile, Jayawijaya Police Chief Adj. Sr Com. Yan Peter Reba noted that the rebel group killed 24 workers first and seven others, who attempted to hide in the house of a local lawmaker, and were killed later.

A Papua Military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi remarked that the incident, occurring on Dec 2, involved an armed criminal group under Egianus Kogoyaa. The group, with some 40 members, had been known to be involved in similar incidents of violence.

The group also attacked a military post at Mbua, in the district of Nduga, killing a soldier and injuring another soldier.

Chief of the Presidential Staff Moeldoko stated that development would continue in Papua as scheduled despite the murders of 31 construction workers there by armed men.

Moeldoko described as barbaric the murders of the 31 construction workers building bridges spanning the rivers of Yigi and Aurak in the Yall District.

Reporting by Bayu Prasetyo
Editing by Fardah, Yoseph Hariyadi

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Editor: Bustanuddin
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