Three people were killed and a child was wounded when separatist fighters in Papua province opened fire on a small plane bringing in security personnel ahead of regional elections later this week, officials said on Monday.
Colonel Muhammad Aidi, the army’s spokesman in Papua province, said three civilians were killed and two people, including the pilot, were injured in the attack, which occurred after the plane landed at Kenyam airport in remote Nduga district.
“The plane was carrying 15 mobile brigade officers tasked with safeguarding the local election,” said Muhammad Aidi, a military official of Nduga regency.
The dead civilians were migrant traders from South Sulawesi province, including a husband and wife, who were shot and stabbed as the attackers fled the airport, Aidi said.
Aidi said the chartered Twin Otter plane was transporting paramilitary police from the highlands town of Wamena to Nduga to provide security during regional elections on Wednesday. Security personnel are on high alert in Papua, where a long-running independence struggle has often turned violent.
He said the assailants were members of the “Armed Civilians Criminal Group” that had previously shot dead a worker on the trans-Papua highway project.
Source: The Guardian
Photo courtesy of Tempo.co / Jubi