Joint forces sweep TPNPB’s base in the Bintang Mountains

Bintang Mountains
SMK Negeri 1 Oksibil, Bintang Mountains Regency, Papua Mountain Province, which was attacked by armed groups on Monday (9/1/2023). - IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Joint forces have swept locations suspected of being the headquarters of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) led by Ananias Atimin Bintang. The sweeping was carried out following the shooting of a cargo plane and the burning of a school in Bintang Mountains Regency, Mountainous Papua Province on Monday, January 9, 2023.

Bintang Mountains Police chief Adj. Sr. Come. M Dafi Bastomi said the shooting of a caravan type aircraft PK-HVV and the burning of Oksibil 1 Vocational School on Monday was allegedly carried out by TPNPB XXXV Defense Area Command led by Ananias Atimin Bintang. Bastomi said joint Indonesian Military (TNI) and Police officers were now sweeping the area suspected of being the armed group’s base.

“Currently, joint TNI and police officers are checking the scene and securing it to anticipate further attack,” Bastomi said when confirmed by telephone on Monday.

According to Bastomi, the PK-HVV plane on Monday afternoon had landed at Theys Hiyo Eluay International Airport in Sentani, Jayapura Regency. The officers then found a number of gunshot holes in the fuselage.

“We cannot confirm the casualties and material damage yet. We are still waiting for confirmation from Tanah Merah Airport, Boven Digoel Regency,” he said.

Bastomi emphasized that his office would guarantee flight safety in Bintang Mountains. He said security forces would investigate the attack committed by armed groups in the Bintang Mountains. (*)

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