16 bod­ies found af­ter at­tack in In­done­sia

The Gulf Today - - ASIA -

WAMENA: In­done­sian se­cu­rity forces have re­trieved the bod­ies of 16 peo­ple in the af­ter­math of a mas­sacre by sus­pected sep­a­ratist rebels in restive Pa­pua prov­ince, the mil­i­tary said on Thurs­day.

THE Con­firmed DEATHS, BE­LIEVED to be of con­struc­tion work­ers, mark the dead­li­est bout of vi­o­lence in years to hit a re­gion wracked by a low-level in­de­pen­dence in­sur­gency.

The bod­ies will be evac­u­ated to the town of Timika from the re­mote dis­trict of Nduga, a moun­tain­ous re­gion where the at­tack hap­pened Sun­day, lo­cal mil­i­tary com­man­der Bin­sar Pan­jai­tan said.

“The lat­est in­for­ma­tion is that 16 bod­ies have been found,” Pan­jai­tan told re­porters in Pa­pua.

THE DEAD HAD not BEEN IDEN­TI­IED and the mil­i­tary did not sup­ply de­tails about how they were killed.

An ear­lier eye­wit­ness ac­count sup­plied by the mil­i­tary de­tailed the killing of at least 19 peo­ple, in­clud­ing in ex­e­cu­tion style shoot­ings or hav­ing their throat slit.

Pre­vi­ous lo­cal me­dia re­ports put the num­ber of dead be­tween 24 and 31.

On Thurs­day, the mil­i­tary warned that it was not yet clear whether all the dead worked for a state-owned con­trac­tor that has been build­ing bridges and roads as part of ef­forts to boost in­fra­struc­ture in the im­pov­er­ished re­gion.

An­other 15 peo­ple − IN­CLUD­ING seven Em­ploy­ees of THE Con­trac­tor − HAVE been evac­u­ated from the area.

Many in Pa­pua view In­done­sia as a colo­nial oc­cu­pier and its build­ing work as a way to ex­ert more control over a re­gion that shares a border with Pa­pua New Guinea, an in­de­pen­dent na­tion.

Po­lice and mil­i­tary teams sent to THE AREA HAVE Come un­der REBEL Gun­fire with one sol­dier killed and two wounded since Mon­day, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties.

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