Some 346 civilian hostages in Papua released amid crossfire

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian police and military personnel have released a total of 346 civilians taken hostage by the armed criminal group in Papua province amid crossfire on Friday, Papua police chief said.

"Crossfire occurred during the evacuation process, causing (some) security personnel and evacuees sustained injuries," Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar, chief of the Papua Provincial Police, said.

Amar, however, did not elaborate the number of security personnel assigned to free the hostages from the armed criminal group, that sustained injuries.

The security officers released the 346 civilians from Kimbeli kampongs, Tembagapura Sub-District, Mimika District, Papua Province.

Of the 346 hostages, 23 were children, he said, adding that the evacuation process was carried out on foot for about four hours heading to the Tembagapura police office.

According to him, the armed criminal group (KKB) kept shooting from the height during the evacuation process.

Meanwhile, Amar on Thursday demanded the KKB to release some 1,300 civilians that it had taken hostages in Banti and Kimbeli kampongs for more than two weeks.

In the meantime, the indigenous Papuans living in Banti are reluctant to be evacuated and want to remain in their villages.

Source: ANTARA News

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