Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Two soldiers, who sustained gunshot wounds in a gunfight against several armed Papuan separatist terrorists that ambushed them in Sugapa Sub-district, Intan Jaya District, Sunday, are in a stable condition, a military officer stated.

These two wounded personnel of the 501 Airborne Infantry Battalion were evacuated to Timika, the capital of Mimika District, Papua Province, on Monday, Commander of the 173/PVB District Military Command Brig. Gen. Taufan Gastoro noted.

The gunfight broke out after the two soldiers, who were transporting logistics at about 3 p.m. local time on Sunday, were suddenly attacked by several armed Papuan separatist terrorists, he remarked.

In restoring law and order in Sugapa, both police and army personnel remain stationed in several areas, he confirmed, adding that several residents, who sought refuge, had returned home.

However, several others remained homebound from morning to afternoon and then returned to temporary shelters to stay there at night, he revealed.

"The police and military personnel stationed there are striving to convince them to return home, as the security situation has become more stable," Gastoro added.

Papua has borne witness to a spate of violence against civilians and security personnel in the past two years.

Intan Jaya District recorded its bloodiest month in September 2020, with notorious armed groups launching a series of attacks in the area that claimed the lives of two soldiers and two civilians and left two others injured.

These armed groups have continued their acts of terror this year too.

On January 6, 2021, at least 10 armed Papuans vandalized and torched a Quest Kodiak aircraft belonging to the Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) at the Pagamba village airstrip.

Armed groups often employ hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel while unleashing acts of terror against civilians to instill fear among the people.

On February 8, 2021, an armed rebel reportedly shot a 32-year-old man 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 taken to the Timika Public Hospital in Mimika District on February 9.

On February 9, six armed Papuans fatally stabbed a motorcycle taxi (ojek) driver.

Then, on the morning of September 13, several members of the Lamek Tablo-led separatist terrorist group reportedly torched several public facilities, including a public health center, and homes in Kiwirok.

Papuan terrorists reportedly assaulted and tortured several health workers from the Kiwirok Public Health Center. One health worker, identified as Gabriela Meilan, died while four others sustained serious injuries.

Meilan died after being tortured by the terrorists, according to officials.

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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