Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Papua police arrested two men for brutally assaulting a 50-year-old meatball soup vendor in Sugapa sub-district, Intan Jaya district on Sunday.

The suspects, identified by their initials as MS and AS, were apprehended near their homes, Papua Police chief, Insp.Gen. Mathius Fakhiri, told journalists here on Monday.

Investigators are probing the case and also looking into any links between the suspects and armed rebel groups, he added.

The two suspects reportedly rode a motorcycle to the place where the vendor, Asep Saputra, sold soup, around 2:30 p.m. local time on Sunday. They allegedly assaulted Saputra and fled, leaving their motorcycle behind.

Local police officers rushed to the scene and seized the motorcycle, Fakhiri informed.

Saputra was taken to Nabire on Monday for medical treatment.

Papua province has been witness to a string of violent attacks by armed groups targeting civilians and security personnel in the past two years.

On April 8, 2021, several armed Papuan rebels reportedly opened fire at a kiosk in Julukoma village, Beoga sub-district, about 9:30 a.m. local time.

The shooting resulted in the death of a Beoga public elementary school teacher, Oktovianus Rayo.

After killing Rayo, the armed attackers torched three classrooms at the Beoga public senior high school.

On April 9, 2021, armed rebels reportedly shot another teacher, Yonatan Randen, on the chest.

Several villagers tried to save the junior high school teacher and rushed him to the Beoga public health center, but he succumbed to his injuries.

On April 11, 2021, armed criminals reportedly set ablaze nine classrooms at the Beoga public junior high school.

Papua Police chief Fakhiri has vowed to trace those responsible for the deaths of the two teachers.

"The TNI (Indonesian military) and police personnel will never retreat even a single step in enforcing the law against the killers," Fakhiri asserted in Timika last week. (INE)

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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