Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Three villagers were found dead following a gunfight between security personnel and several armed Papuan terrorists that torched various facilities of the Aminggaru Airport in Ilaga, Puncak District, Papua Province, on Thursday evening.

The dead civilians were identified as Patianus Kogoya, head of Niporolome Village; Petena Murib, Patianus Kogoya's wife; and Nelius Kogoya, Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Mathius Fakhiri stated in Jayapura on Friday evening.

The police investigators received reports that they had died of gunshot wounds, but the investigation into their deaths could not be continued after the mourning families took their bodies for burial, he remarked.

Apart from finding three bodies in Niporolome Village, the security personnel also observed that three other villagers had sustained injuries in the aftermath of the gunfight that broke out around the airport area, Fakhiri remarked.

The wounded residents, identified as Mandis Murib, Lesminus Murib, and Jelemina Wanimbo, had received medical treatment at a local public health center, he noted.

Several armed Papuan terrorists torched various facilities of the Aminggaru Airport, including the air traffic control tower, a broken aircraft, an excavator, and houses of the airport's employees, on Thursday evening (June 3).

The airport is scheduled to resume operations on Saturday after being shut down on Friday.

Over the last few years, armed Papuan groups have used hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel and unleashed acts of terror against civilians in the districts of Intan Jaya, Nduga, and Puncak to make people fearful of them.

The recent targets of such acts have included construction workers, motorcycle taxi (ojek) drivers, teachers, students, street food vendors, and also civilian aircraft.

On December 2, 2018, a group of armed Papuan rebels brutally killed 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya that were engaged in the construction of the Trans Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi sub-district, Nduga District.

On the same day, the armed attackers also killed a soldier, identified as Handoko, and injured two other security personnel, Sugeng and Wahyu.

Such acts of violence have continued this year. On January 6, 2021, at least 10 armed separatist terrorists vandalized and torched a Quest Kodiak aircraft belonging to the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) on the Pagamba village airstrip.

On February 8, 2021, a 32-year-old man was shot at close range in Bilogai Village, Sugapa Sub-district.

The victim, identified by his initials as RNR, sustained gunshot wounds on the face and right shoulder and was shifted to the Timika Public Hospital in Mimika District on February 9.

In a separate incident on February 9, six armed Papuans fatally stabbed a motorcycle taxi (ojek) driver.

On April 8, 2021, several armed Papuan rebels opened fire at a kiosk in Julukoma Village, Beoga Sub-district, Puncak District.

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

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

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

Two days later, nine classrooms at the Beoga public junior high school were set ablaze by an armed group.

Barely four days later, Ali Mom, a student of the Ilaga public senior high school in Beoga Sub-district, was brutally killed by armed attackers.

On April 25, 2021, Papuan separatists operating in Beoga ambushed State Intelligence Agency (Papua) chief, Maj. Gen. I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha, and several security personnel during their visit to Dambet Village.

Following Nugraha's fatal shooting, President Joko Widodo instructed the TNI and National Police to track down and arrest all members of armed separatist and terrorist groups operating in Papua, stressing there is no place for them within the Indonesian territory.

In response to these armed terrorists' ongoing acts of terror, People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Speaker Bambang Soesatyo said that the state must not allow them to continue to terrorize communities in Papua.

It must ensure that Papuans' rights to enjoy the outcomes of development programs in the country's easternmost province are not disrupted and hijacked by continued acts of terror, he emphasized.

Related news: Armed Papuan criminals torch civilian helicopter at Ilaga Airport
Related news: Flight services restarted at Aminggaru Airport in Papua's Ilaga
Related news: Papua: Armed group member killed in gunfight near airport runway

Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
Copyright © ANTARA 2021