Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Puncak Jaya police officers in Central Papua Province questioned seven witnesses in connection with a probe into a shooting case in which two security personnel were killed in Ilu Sub-district on March 25.

Apart from grilling the witnesses, police investigators also conducted a field investigation, Papua Police spokesperson Senior Commissioner Ignatius Benny Prabowo stated in Jayapura City on Tuesday.

The deadly assault took place on security personnel on duty for safeguarding a congregational Tarawih, or evening prayer during the holy month of Ramadhan, at the Al Amaliah Mosque in the evening of March 25.

As a result, 2nd Brigadier Mesar Indey, a police officer at the Ilu police precinct, and 2nd Sergeant Risawar, a member of the army personnel of the Ilu military command, lost their lives.

Witnesses claim that the attack was conducted by four people but they cannot yet be identified as to whether they belong to an armed Papuan separatist terrorist group operating in the district, he stated.

Prabowo said that at the crime scene, police investigators found 35 cartridges and several other items of evidence of crime, including a machete cover.

"All the pieces of evidence have been secured at the Puncak Jaya police office for investigation purpose," he remarked while adding that the two fallen personnel had been buried in their respective hometowns.

ANTARA had reported earlier that over the past few years, armed Papuan groups had often employed hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel and mounted acts of terror against civilians in the districts of Intan Jaya, Nduga, and Puncak to trigger fear among people.

The targets of such acts of terror 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 Trans Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-district, Nduga District.

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

Such acts of violence continued to occur in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

This year, a group of armed Papuan separatists attacked a civilian aircraft owned by Susi Air on February 7.

They scorched the plane at Paro Airfield, Nduga District, and captured its pilot, Captain Philip Mark Marthens, according to the National Police's (Polri's) public relations division head, Inspector General Dedi Prasetyo.

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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