Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - A joint team of Indonesian police and army personnel on Sunday arrested Marthen Iba, member of an armed Papuan separatist terrorist group operating in Teluk Bintuni District, West Papua Province.

He was nabbed following a shooting attack on a military post of the Infantry Battalion 407/PK's Border Security Task Force in Aroba Subdistrict on Friday, Joint Defense Regional Command (Kogabwilhan) III Spokesperson Colonel Czi.Ign.Suriastawa said.

None of the task force personnel fell victim to the shooting incident, he said, adding that the security personnel who arrested Iba confiscated three home-made rifles from him.

The suspect has joined the armed wing of Free Papua Movement (OPM) since 2001 during which he worked as an operational staff, Suriastawa said.

Besides the rifles, the security personnel also seized eight cell phones and a bag, he said.

Marthen Iba has been handed over to the Bintuni police, he added.

Over the past few years, armed Papuan groups have often employed hit-and-run tactics against Indonesian security personnel and mounted acts of terror against civilians in several areas in Papua to trigger a sense of fear among the people.

The recent 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, for instance, a group of armed Papuan rebels brutally killed 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya engaged in the construction of the Trans Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-district, Nduga District.

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

Such acts of violence have continued this year. On February 7, New Zealander Phillip Mehrtens, a pilot of Indonesian airline Susi Air, was held captive shortly after the Egianus Kogoya-led armed group members set his aircraft on fire in Nduga District.

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Sri Haryati
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