Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - The Indonesian military and police personnel in Pegunungan Bintang District, Papua Province, have arrested four men for their alleged involvement in the burning and destruction of several kiosks in Oksibil Subdistrict on September 26.

Two suspects, only identified by their initials as KB, 22, and YD, 23, were nabbed on Friday at around 4:45 p.m. local time, Papua Police Spokesman Sen.Coms.AM Kamal told journalists in Jayapura, the capital city of Papua Province, on Saturday evening.

The police investigators could have apprehended KB after receiving tip-offs that the two suspects were at an Oksibil Airport's new apron while YD, suspected to be the provocateur in the Oksibil incident, was arrested at a different place.

Both KB and YD are currently under the police custody for questioning, he said, adding that YD confessed that he is a member of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB) in the district who had provoked those burning and vandalizing the shops.

Two other suspects, only identified by their initials YD and BM, had been nabbed earlier, Kamal said.

In response to this crime, Kamal urged local residents to let the police investigators handle the case, to exercise their self control, and to help maintain the city's secure and peaceful condition.

Over these few weeks, a wave of violence broke out in several parts of Papua and West Papua in the upshot of the Surabaya incident, and hoaxes pertaining to a teacher's racist slur against native Papuan students that had triggered public ire among Papuans.

On August 28, for instance, a circle of violence also erupted in Deiyai District, some 500 kilometers away from Jayapura, resulting in the deaths of an army soldier and two civilians.

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On August 29, the indigenous Papuan residents of Jayapura had again staged protests, venting their fury over the alleged racist slurs against their Papuan compatriots in Surabaya, but their rally then turned violent.

The brutal demonstrators went on a rampage, vandalizing and setting ablaze several government buildings. The office of Antara, Indonesia's national news agency, in the city was also intentionally damaged by the demonstrators.

Then, on September 23, a deadly rioting occurred in Wamena, the capital city of Jayawijaya District, Papua Province, during a rally that native Papuan students staged.

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Thirty three people, including a medical doctor, were killed, while at least 77 others sustained injuries due to the riot that had also forced several thousands of residents, mostly non-native Papuans, to take refuge to the local military and police compounds.
Most of the dead and the wounded were non-native Papuans who had been assaulted by rioters brandishing machetes and arrows. Many of them migrated to Papua from their hometowns in such provinces as West Sumatra and South Sulawesi to make a living.

According to National Police Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo, the masterminds of this deadly riot are allegedly members of the West Papua National Committee (KNPB).

In connection with Wamena's rioting, Papua Police Chief Inspector General Rudolf A. Rodja said earlier that it might have been fueled by the proliferation of hoaxes through social media platforms that incited public ire among Wamena's residents.

Several local media reports revealed that the Wamena riot was instigated by hoaxes pertaining to a teacher's racist slur against native Papuan students.

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Translator: Alfian R, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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