Jayapura, Jubi – A joint forces of Indonesian Military (TNI) and Police has shot dead an alleged member of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) in Mundidok Village, North Gome District, Puncak Regency, Central Papua Province on Wednesday, March 22, 2023. The incident followed another incident wherein a motorcycle taxi driver was shot dead in Puncak’s Ilaga on the same day.
Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Ignatius Benny Ady Prabowo said that after the shooting of the motorcycle taxi driver in Ilaga, TNI and police officers conducted aerial pursuit and observation. They then saw a number of people, suspectedly members of TPNPB, traveling from Mundidok Village to Kimak Village.
“When monitoring through aerial observation, about 20 people were seen carrying two firearms. They were crossing from Mundidok towards Kimak. Then a firefight occurred,” Benny said in Jayapura City on Thursday.
According to Benny, the body of a suspected TPNPB member ET was only found when the security forces swept the location of the firefight. He said ET died from being shot.
“The officers also found three units of 5.56 MM caliber, one 5.56 MM caliber ammunition casing, two noken (traditional woven bag), motorcycle key, and two packs of cigarettes at the scene. There were no injuries or casualties from the security forces,” he said.
He added that the joint TNI and police team had taken ET’s body to the Puncak Regional General Hospital.
Previously, a motorcycle taxi driver named Irwan died after being shot in Ilaga City. The shooter disguised himself as a passenger and shot Irwan after using his service. The shooting occurred at the junction of Kimak Street at around 9 a.m.
Benny said the shooting occurred while Irwan was waiting for payment for his taxi service. “Suddenly the perpetrator pulled out a short-barreled firearm. The victim was shot from behind once,” Benny said.
According to the police, the shooting was seen by residents who immediately fled to the house of the Head of the Puncak Social Service. “The shooting was carried out by two people. One perpetrator shot the victim, and the other helped,” said Benny.
Irwan was evacuated by TNI and police members to the Ilaga Health Center but could not be saved. “The body will be sent tomorrow to his hometown in Jennae, Soppeng Regency, South Sulawesi Province for burial,” said Benny.
Currently, the shooting case has been handled by Puncak Police. Patrols have also been carried out around Illaga City.
Benny suspects that the shooter is a member of the TPNPB. However, until this news was revealed, Jubi had not received any confirmation from the TPNPB. (*)