TPNPB attacks illegal gold mine in Yahukimo, 7 dead

Evacuation of seven miners in Kali I, Seradala District, Yahukimo Regency, Mountainous Papua Province, Tuesday (10/17/2023). - Doc. Cartenz Peace Operation

Jayapura, Jubi – The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) has claimed responsibility for the attack on a mine in Yahukimo Regency’s Seradala District on Monday, October 16, 2023.

On Tuesday, TPNPB spokesperson Sebby Sambom said the gold mine in Seradala was operating without legal authorization and alleged the involvement of Indonesian spies as mine workers there.

Sambom stressed that the TPNPB had repeatedly issued warnings to civilians to evacuate from conflict areas.

“The TPNPB would not negotiate and would resort to the use of force if necessary,” he said.

He cautioned all civilians engaged in artisanal work, project employment, or illegal mining in the conflict-stricken region to leave promptly.

Additionally, Sambom called on the government to initiate dialogue as a means of resolving the ongoing armed conflict in Papua, expressing the seriousness of the TPNPB’s intent to reach a solution.

Meanwhile, head of Cartenz Peace Operation Sr. Comr. Faizal Ramadhani disclosed that the attack on the Kali I mine in Seradala District was carried out by the TPNPB group under the leadership of Egianus Kogoya. Seven miners reportedly died in the incident.

Other than resulting in fatalities, the attack also injured 11 people, inflicted damage by setting fire to three excavators, two trucks, and a panning camp.

Ramadhani stated the intent to apprehend the perpetrators and enforce legal consequences against the TPNPB group. (*)

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