Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Operation Peace Cartenz Task Force confirmed on Saturday that an alleged separatist terrorist, Otniel Giban alias Bolong Giban, was killed in a gunfight in Brasa River of Dekai Subdistrict, Yahukimo District, Papua Pegunungan, on Thursday (February 22).

The task force chief, Senior Commissioner Faizal Rahmadani, said in a press statement in Jayapura City that Giban was a separatist terrorist who joined the armed Ndugama group led by Yotam Buriangge.

Prior to his death, the Papua police placed Giban on its most-wanted list owing to his involvement in ten criminal cases since August 2022, he said.

Besides killing Giban, the task force also arrested two rebels and seized 74 bullets in different calibers, he said, adding that the gunfight broke out following the recent Wings Air aircraft shooting incident.

The shooting incident occurred at Nop Goliath Airport on Saturday (February 17). On that day, alleged members of an armed Papuan group shot at the aircraft of Wings Air, a member of the Lion Air group.

All people aboard the plane, carrying 36 passengers, survived the incident, but the splinter of a bullet penetrating the aircraft's left fuselage hit the neck of a passenger sitting in seat row 19A.

The injured passenger was identified as 1st Private Ongen R Dori, a 1715 Yahukimo district military command member, Rahmadani said.

ANTARA has earlier reported that 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 the districts of Intan Jaya, Nduga, Puncak, and Maybrat to stoke fear among the people.

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The targets of such acts of terror have included construction workers, motorcycle taxi (ojek) drivers, teachers, students, street food vendors, and even civilian aircraft.

On December 2, 2018, for instance, a group of armed Papuan separatists brutally killed 31 workers from PT Istaka Karya who were engaged in the Trans Papua project in Kali Yigi and Kali Aurak in Yigi Sub-district, Nduga District.

Early on the morning of September 2, 2021, several members of a Papuan separatist terrorist group operating in the Maybrat District ambushed soldiers while they were asleep at the Kisor military post. The post is located at Kisor Village, South Aifat Sub-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.

On February 7, 2023, New Zealander pilot Phillip Mark Mehrtens was taken hostage by the Egianus Kogoya-led armed group. Philip was piloting an aircraft belonging to Indonesian airline Susi Air when the armed group captured him. The members of the group set his plane on fire shortly after it landed in Nduga District.

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Bayu Prasetyo
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