The Jakarta Post
National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian has confirmed that 20 people were killed by an armed grouped linked to the Free Papua Movement (OPM) in Nduga regency, Wamena.
"Based on current information, 20 [people have been killed]. Nineteen workers and one TNI [Indonesian Military] soldier died," he said on Wednesday.
The workers were employees of state-owned construction company PT Istaka Karya who were assigned to build a 275-kilometer section of road to connect Wamena and Mamugu, which is part of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s signature trans-Papua road project.
"After [the gunmen] committed a savage massacre on Dec. 1, they attacked a TNI post in Mbua. The post was actually built to protect the workers and had a force of 21 soldiers," Tito said. "It was attacked and the soldiers retreated, but one was killed."
There had been conflicting reports of the number of people killed by the rebels, with police initially saying that 31 workers had died, while Istaka Karya president director Sigit Inarto said that there were only 28 workers at the location. (kmt)