Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Armed Papuan rebels assaulted army personnel conducting a patrol in Bibida Village, Bibida Sub-district, Paniai District, Central Papua, on Wednesday, though none of the soldiers fell victims to the shooting.

The attack occurred when the soldiers were passing the village's three-way junction, XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command spokesman Lt Col Chandra Kurniawan noted in a statement issued here, Thursday.

In response to the assault, soldiers from the 527/BY Infantry Battalion Task Force chased the separatists, arrested a civilian hiding in a bush, and engaged in a gunfight, he stated.

The army personnel carried out the patrol to protect villagers from the rebels' security disturbances, he remarked, adding that the arrested civilian had been handed over to the Paniai police for investigation.

The XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command handles three resort military commands (Korem) and 17 district military commands (Kodim) in the provinces of Papua, Papua Pegunungan, Central Papua, and South Papua.

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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 incite 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.

In Sugapa Sub-district in Intan Jaya District, Central Papua, Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Mathius Fakhiri had stated earlier that the armed rebels operating in the region continue to pose threats to civilians.

On Tuesday, April 30, 2024, the separatists shot at the Homeyo police precinct, killing a civilian. They then torched the Pogapa primary school in Homeyo Sub-district on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, he remarked.

Fakhiri said the Homeyo police station and school building are located in the same sub-district. To deal with security disturbances, Fakhiri said the security personnel need to stay alert.

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Translator: Evarukdijati, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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