OPM gunmen accused of massacring 31 construction workers
The Jakarta Post
The National Police have said that an armed group linked to the Free Papua Movement (OPM) has reportedly massacred 31 workers of state-owned construction company Istaka Karya in Nduga regency, Papua.
“We haven’t checked the details yet, but the Indonesian Military [TNI] and the National Police are heading toward the scene,” National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. M. Iqbal said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Jayawijaya Police chief Adj. Comr. Yan Pieter Reba said he had received information about the alleged massacre, but added that authorities were still verifying it.
“The information is that 24 people were killed in the workers’ camp. Another eight people managed to escape to the residence of a local councillor. But seven of them are now reportedly dead, while another has escaped,” he said as quoted by tribunnews.com on Monday.
The workers were assigned to build a road and open access to the hilly area in Kali-Yigi-kali Urak in Nduga.
One of them, according to the police, reportedly witnessed a pro-independence ceremony held by the National Liberation Army of West Papua on Dec.1 and decided to take a photo of it.
“[What he did] angered [the group], so they killed the workers staying in the camp,” Reba said.
The TNI and the police deployed 150 security personnel to verify the report and recover the bodies if a massacre did take place. (spl)
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