Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro has said security authorities are continuing to investigate whether gunmen involved in the Sunday airplane shooting in Papua were separatists or criminals.

"We must investigate the shooting incident at Mulia airport in Puncak Jaya (Papua Province). If the perpetrators are separatists, TNI (Indonesian Defense Forces) will deal with them, but if they are criminals, then police will handle them. We are still waiting for the report (from security authorities in Papua) on who committed (the shooting)," Purnomo said at Halim Perdana Kusuma airforce base, here Monday.

The minister noted that TNI has not deployed additional personnel to Papua, but is relying on the existing four battalions of TNI personnel in the Papua border area.

"For the troops from outside, they are only deployed in the border area. We have four battalions in the border area," he said.

Meanwhile, Chief of the Indonesian Air Force, Marshall Imam Sufaat, said he is still waiting for instructions from his superiors to help deal with the airplane shooting in Papua.

"We do have personnel in Biak, Jayapura, Merauke, and Timika. In Biak, Merauke and Timika, we have radar that must be guarded. We can mobilize the personnel any time," he said.

Several people were wounded and one died when a Twin Otter airplane, flight code PK-YRF, was shot at as it was landing at Mulia airport, Puncak Jaya District, Papua Province, Sunday.

Its pilot, Bebi Astekyang, was hit in the leg, while Latoge Kogoya, a reporter of Papua Pos of Nabire, was struck in the neck and died.

Co-pilot Willy was also hit by a bullet fragment in one of his fingers and was unable to control the flight, causing the plane to crash into a building at the airport. The shootings by the armed group left holes in the airplane.
(Uu.F001/INE /KR-BSR/O001)

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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