"Members of this armed Papuan group do not want education system in Papua to be well-developed," the Nemangkawi Task Force chief, Sen. Coms Ahmad Musthofa Kamal, noted in a statement here on Monday.
The task force's personnel and their counterparts from the Pegunungan Bintang police precinct had received reports on the incident that took place in Esipding Village, Serambakon Sub-district, on Sunday at 5:30 a.m. local time.
Shortly after receiving reports, the personnel rushed to the Oksibil public high school, located some 10 kilometres away from the nearest local police precinct, to conduct a crime scene investigation, Kamal confirmed.
The armed Papuans' act of terror resulted in the destruction of two school buildings comprising three classrooms, an office room, and a teachers' room, he noted.
The Oksibil public high school is located in proximity to places where shootings on Indonesian army personnel occurred at the Yapimakot bridge of Serambakon Sub-district in 2020 and this year, he stated.
A witness claimed to have spotted several armed Papuan separatist terrorists, operating in the area, set the school on fire, Kamal remarked, adding that local police investigators are still probing the case.
Papua has borne witness to a spate of violence against civilians and security personnel in the past few years.
Intan Jaya recorded its bloodiest month in September 2020, with notorious armed groups launching a series of attacks that claimed the lives of two soldiers and two civilians and left two others injured.
The 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 and unleash acts of terror against civilians to instill a sense of fear among the people.
On February 8, 2021, an armed rebel reportedly shot a 32-year-old man in 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.
On April 25, 2021, Papuan separatists, operating in Beoga, ambushed State Intelligence Agency (Papua) Chief I Gusti Putu Danny Karya Nugraha and several security personnel during their visit to Dambet Village.
Nugraha died of gunshot wounds.
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