Jayapura, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian brigade leader was killed in an ongoing clash between security forces and rebels in Papua, officials said Monday.
The clash began on April 8 in Papua, the easternmost province of Indonesia, after rebels fired at three schools and shot dead teachers in Beoga village in the Puncak district. Police, military and intelligence forces joined Operation Nemankawi and found an attacker who believed the authorities belonged to the West Papua Liberation Army, the military arm of the Free Papua Movement.
Rebels have fought low-level rebellions since the early 1960s when Indonesia annexed the former Dutch colony Papua. Papua was officially incorporated into Indonesia in 1969 after a UN-sponsored ballot, which was considered fake by many.
Chief Brig of Papua’s intelligence agency. Colonel Ikubal Arkudushi, a spokesman for Operation Nemankawi, said General Gusti Putu Danny Nugraha was shot in the head and died in a rebel ambush.
He said the ambush occurred on Sunday afternoon when the general was patrolling the village of Dumbet next to Beoga on a motorcycle with 13 other staff members after rebels fired at the village’s primary school and homes. It was.
He said security forces managed to evacuate the body on Monday morning while a joint military and police force was searching for an “armed separatist criminal group.”
“We are on the highest alert, as directed by all military forces on the ground,” Alqudusy said.
Attacks by rebels in several parts of Papua, including the Grasberg mine, have skyrocketed over the past year.
The vast gold and copper reserves of the Grasberg mine have been extracted by Freeport-McMoran for decades, causing large tax revenues to the Indonesian government and damaging the surrounding environment. ..
However, indigenous Papuans receive little benefit and are poorer, sick, and more likely to die younger than people elsewhere in Indonesia.
Associated Press writer Niniek Karmini in Jakarta, Indonesia contributed to this report.