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Acts of terror leave bloody trail in Papua

September has been the bloodiest month in Intan Jaya district, West Papua province, this season with armed separatists mounting a spate of attacks that have left two soldiers and two civilians dead and a couple others injured.

On September 19, 2020, an Indonesian soldier died in the gunfight with several armed Papuan rebels close to the Persiapan Hipadipa Military Sub-district Command’s compound within the district.

The fallen hero may be identified as First Private Dwi Akbar Utomo, in accordance with XVII Cenderawasih Regional Military Command spokesperson, Lt. Col. Reza Nur Patria.


The same day, armed separatists also reportedly gunned down Priest Yeremia Zanambani in Hitadipa village, Hitadipa sub-district. This can be clearly a separatist acts of terror.

The priest died of gunshot wounds after he was shot by armed criminals on September 19, 2020, Joint Regional Defense Command (Kogabwilhan) III spokesperson, Col. IGN Suriastawa, noted inside a recent statement.

On September 17, 2020, another soldier, Chief Sergeant Sahlan, was reportedly killed in a ambush laid by a group of armed separatists. He was returning to the Persiapan Hipadipa Military Sub-district Command in Intan Jaya district with food supplies in the Sugapa area as he was attacked.

The attackers seized his gun and magazine, based on Commander from the Biak-based 173/Praja Vira Braja Military Resort Command, Brig. Gen. Iwan Setiawan.

Sahlan, part of the 1404 Pindrang Military District Command in South Sulawesi province, had been tasked with burning the Village Supervisory Non-Commissioned Officers (Babinsa) of the Persiapan Hipadipa Military Sub-district Command, Setiawan noted.

In the separate incident on September 17, 2020, armed Papuan rebels reportedly tortured and killed a 49-year-old motorcycle taxi Ojek driver defined as Badawi.

On September 13, 2020, armed separatists opened fire at two other Ojek drivers in Sugapa area, however they managed to survive the attack. The 2 drivers are presently undergoing treatment in Timika, the administrative centre of Mimika District, Setiawan stated.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) has condemned the current shooting of Priest Yeremia Zanamban within the province, where the security situation has remained volatile due to its vulnerability to acts of deadly violence by armed separatists and their backers.