Two more West Papua Liberation Army members have been killed in hostilities with Indonesia’s military in the Highlands of Papua province.
A TNI spokesman in West Papua, Colonel Inf Muhammad Aidi, said the deaths stemmed from an earlier alleged killing of a local civilian by the Liberation Army.
He said that as Indonesian security forces tried to evacuate the man’s body, dozens of Liberation Army fighters opened fire on them from nearby hills.
Colonel Aidi said the TNI responded by sending a team to attack the Papuan fighters, two of whom were shot dead, while most of them retreated to the bush.
A Liberation Army spokesman, Akouboo Amatas Douw, has accused the TNI and police of numerous indiscriminate attacks on Papuan communities in the Highlands region this year.
The Australia-based spokesman said the international community should pay attention to the conflict in Papua, especially since Indonesia took up a seat at the UN Security Council.
He has accused the TNI of “cruelty”, “barbaric” actions and killing innocent civilians from villages in remote Highlands regions around Puncak Jaya, Nduga, Timika and Lanny Jaya.
“Even uncounted thousands civilians were displaced until today no one care about their lives,” Mr Douw said.
“The 56 years of Indonesian occupation in West Papua resulted systematic genocide, massive human rights and humanitarian crisis by their military operation at large.”
But Colonel Aidi, who along with other Indonesian authorities refers to the Liberation Army as “separatists”, said that they had lured the TNI into a trap.
“This separatist group which has bases in remote jungle around Papua’s centre mountain area, has long record doing crimes in Papua,” he added.
“In last few months they’ve killed three civilians, injured a young boy with chopping knife, killed a taxibike in Ilaga, shot a civilian flight in and killed two army soldiers in Mulia”, Colonel Aidi explained.
He said the TNI would continue to assist police in their pursuit of the West Papua Liberation Army whose Highlands commander declared war on the Indonesian state in January.