The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel have shot dead four people after supporters of a local legislative candidate stormed the Fayit district office in Asmat regency, Papua.
Papua military spokesman Col. Muhammad Aidi said the candidate for the Asmat Regional Legislative Council, identified only as JK, felt he had received enough votes to obtain a seat but was replaced with another candidate by his political party.
According to Aidi, JK was unhappy with the party’s decision and sent around 350 of his supporters, who were armed with traditional weapons, to attack the Fayit district office on Monday in response.
“Seeing the sudden anarchic situation, four soldiers from the nearby Fayit district military post were deployed to try and control the crowd,” he said in a statement.
He said the soldiers were forced to shoot at the crowd, which had turned to attack them, resulting in five casualties, four of whom died.
The fatalities were identified as Xaverius Sai, 40, Nikolaus Tupa, 38, Matias Amunep, 16, and Frederikus Inepi, 35.
Meanwhile, Jhon Tatai, 25, suffered gunshot wounds to his elbows and was taken to the Asmat public hospital.
Aidi said a joint TNI-National Police team of 25 people had been deployed to the area and that the situation was now “conducive”.
“After receiving the report, Cendrawasih Military commander Maj. Gen. Yosua Pandit Sembiring quickly took action and coordinated with the Papua Police chief and Komnas HAM [National Commission on Human Rights] to form an investigative team to get accurate information,” he said. (kmt)