Indonesian Army evacuates civilians from Kiwirok

Indonesian Army evacuates civilians from Kiwirok

Three civilians were evacuated from Kiwirok sub-district on an Indonesian Army chopper on Wednesday (September 22, 2021). (ANTARA/HO/Information Service of 172/PWY Provincial Military Command/uyu)

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - A Bell 412EP helicopter belonging to the Indonesian Army (TNI AD) evacuated three civilians from Kiwirok sub-district, Pegunungan Bintang district, Papua province on Wednesday.

The commander of 172/Praja Wira Yakthi Provincial Military Command, Brigadier General Izak Pangemanan, said here that the evacuation was carried out based on the civilians' request to temporarily leave the sub-district.

The three civilians have been identified as Esawaek (39), Rospiani Purba (55), and Yosepa Taplo (50). Currently, they have returned to their respective families, Pangemanan said.

Esawaek and Purba—who are originally from Biak and Medan, respectively—are teachers at Kiwirok Junior High School, while Taplo is a housewife, he informed.

The two teachers have worked in the sub-district for decades, he said. Purba has said that she has been teaching there since 1999, he added.

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Meanwhile, at least 17 people are still taking shelter at the 403/Wirasada Pratista Infantry Battalion Border Security Task Force Post, Pangemanan informed. Currently, they are all well, he added.

TNI AD will disburse meal aid from Jayapura to the post, he said.

Additional military personnel have been deployed to Kiwirok sub-district to restore security in the region and take action against the Ngalum Kupel armed criminal group (KKB), Pangemanan said.

A shoot-out was reported between TNI AD and KKB in the sub-district on September 13, 2021.

The KKB also reportedly attacked civilians and health workers in the sub-district. One health worker, identified as Gabriela Meilan, died in the attack, while four others sustained injuries.

Ahead of the opening of the XX Papua PON on October 2, 2021, the public security situation in Papua has remained relatively conducive, officials said.

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