Police say 22 killed in Nduga attacks

Police say 22 killed in Nduga attacks

Indonesian Police Deputy Chief Commissioner General Ari Dono Sukmanto, (Antara foto/Syaiful Hakim)

Ari Dono Sukmanto
Timika, Papua, (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Police Deputy Chief Commissioner General Ari Dono Sukmanto confirmed here on Wednesday that 22 people had been killed in an attack by an armed criminal group in Nduga, Papua.

He said 21 of the victims were civilians who were workers of Kali Yigi bridge construction from PT Istaka, while another one was a military member, Second Sergeant Handoko.

After meeting Defense Forces (TNI) Commander General Hadi Tjahjanto at Rimba Hotel Papua in Timika, he stated that evacuation of the victims had been hampered by gun fires from the armed group.

He noted that joint military and police forces still continued to make efforts to evacuate the victims and the survivors.

The body of Handoko has been evacuated to Timika and would be flown to Sorong for burial.

It was earlier reported that 31 workers were killed in the incident.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed condolences on behalf of the Indonesian people.

"I, on behalf of the people, nation, and state, convey my deepest condolences to all families of the victims. Let us together pray that the souls of the heroes of Trans Papua development are accepted by God, the Almighty," Jokowi informed the press here on 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 arrest every perpetrator involved in the murders.

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

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

Reporting by Evarianus Supar, Yoseph Haryadi
Editing by Suharto