Anti-terror police mobilized to hunt OPM separatists

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Densus-88 anti-terror police had been mobilized to hunt down members of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM) after they attacked mobile brigade police in Tanjakan Gunung Merak, Nafri, Abepura, Papua, a police spokesman said.

"The Densus-88 anti-terror police of the Police Headquarters had been fielded to assist Papua police and the military in combing the hideouts of the OPM members," National Police Spokesman Insp. Gen. Anton Bachrul Alam said here on Wednesday.

Basides, the National Police Headquarters also sent a forensic laboratory team to Papua.

"The Forensic Laboratory Center of the National Police has sent a team to Tanjakan. There are five officers and now they are scrutinizing the incident scene," Anton said.

From Witnesses, it was known that the OPM members were hiding behind trees and then ambushed police personnel from the left and right sides of the car. And then they disappeared.

As a result of their attacks, four people were killed, one a military officer and three civilians.

Recounting what had happened in the incident, Anton said the incident happened at 7.20 local time when about 16 OPM members, five of whom carried riffles, came to a Papua TV tower construction site.

"Brandishing a long-barrel fire arms, one of them approached construction workers Andi Laupe and Benediktus Brian and asked them to stop working," Anton said.

The workers soon after wards reported to two police officers on duty at the Paniai district head`s house, namely First Brigadier Solihin and Second Brigadier Kristianto.

"Upon receiving the report, Solihin contacted the Paniai Police Resort chief who ordered a number of Paniai Mobile Brigade (Brimob) members to go to the scene," Anton said.

Upon arrival at the scene, the Brimob detail was greeted with a hail of bullets which forced the police to return the fire, he said.

"The OPM separatists then fled eastward. While they were hunting the OPM members, police found proof such as SS1 and Mouser ammunition as well as bayonets," Anton said.(*)