31 dead in Wamena rioting: Health Ministry

31 dead in Wamena rioting: Health Ministry

Health Minister Nila Moeloek held a press briefing at the Health Ministry in Jakarta, Monday (Sept 30, 2019) (ANTARA/Katriana)

The joint medical team comprises soldiers, police officers, and civilians, in this case, employees of the Health Ministry
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The death toll from the rioting in the Jayawijaya district capital of Wamena in Papua province reached 31 as of September 30, according to the Health Ministry. Of the total, 26 were killed before being treated and five others died after being hospitalized, Health Minister Nila Moeloek said in Jakarta Monday.

Fourteen people were being treated at a hospital in Wamena, 22 were referred to a hospital in the Papua provincial capital of Jayapura and 62 others had been discharged after treatment, the minister said.

Besides Wamena, the rioting also broke out in Ilaga and Tolikara. However, the number of medical workers stationed in the two towns were not enough to take care of the wounded, she said.

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Therefore, the Health Ministry also sent a joint medical team to the two towns, she added.

"The joint medical team comprises soldiers, police officers, and civilians, in this case, employees of the Health Ministry," she said.

The team has left for the two areas, she said.

The rioting that broke out during a student rally in Wamena on September 23 not only claimed the lives of innocent civilians but also damaged property.

A series of demonstrations were held in various parts of Papua and West Papua provinces to protest alleged racist slurs against the Papuan students in Surabaya, capital of East Java province, on August 16.

Among the dead and the wounded were non-native Papuans who had been assaulted by rioters brandishing machetes and arrows. Many of them had migrated to Papua from their hometowns in provinces such as West Sumatra and South Sulawesi to make a living.

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

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