Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Mathius Fakhiri has called on police personnel not to be incited by security disturbances of armed criminals operating in Paro, Nduga District, Highland Papua Province.

"Paro Sub-district is so far away from Kenyam Sub-district that we have ordered regional police chiefs not to launch a manhunt for the armed criminals. It will be too risky," Fakhiri stated in Jayapura, Papua Province, on Friday.

The shooting incident on Thursday (Nov 30) that led to the deaths of two soldiers in Paro Sub-district was triggered by "security disturbance" of the armed criminals operating in the area, he added.

The two fallen soldiers belong to the Army Strategic Reserve Command's (Kostrad's) Mechanized Infantry Battalion Task Force. On Nov 25, four Kostrad soldiers were also killed in a gunfight with Papuan rebels in Paro.

To avoid more casualties, Fakhiri said he had ordered police personnel not to get provoked, but to stay alert and ensure that such incidents do not recur in the future.

"All personnel need to tighten security measures to prevent the recurrence of the armed criminals' disturbances," he remarked while emphasizing the need to crack down on those responsible for the acts of crime.

"Many members of armed criminal groups operating in Papua have been arrested. Hopefully, their entire networks can be uncovered," he remarked.

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

The targets of such acts of terror have 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 separatists brutally killed 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya engaged in the Trans Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-district, Nduga District.

On March 2, 2022, several members of an armed Papuan group operating in Beoga Sub-district, Puncak District, killed eight Palaparing Timur Telematika (PTT) workers, who were repairing a base transceiver station (BTS) tower belonging to state-owned telecommunications operator Telkomsel.

The workers were identified as B, R, BN, BT, J, E, S, and PD, while another worker, identified by his initials as NS, survived the assault, according to Papua Police spokesperson, Police Chief Commissioner Ahmad Kamal.

On February 7, 2023, New Zealander pilot Phillip Mark Mehrtens was held hostage by the Egianus Kogoya-led armed group whose members set his aircraft on fire in Nduga District.

Mehrtens was piloting an aircraft belonging to Indonesian airline Susi Air when he was captured by the Kogoya-led armed group.

On October 16, 2023, Papuan separatists assaulted several traditional gold miners in Yahukimo District, Papua Pegunungan Province, killing seven of them.

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Translator: Ardiles L, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Anton Santoso
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