Police nab Papuan separatist movement’s youth sympathizers in Abepura

Jayapura, Papua (ANTARA) - Four youths in Abepura Sub-district, Jayapura, Papua, were apprehended, Sunday, over motifs of Bintang Kejora (Morning Star) flag painted over their faces indicating their support for the Free Papua Movement (OPM), a police officer stated.

"I have ordered the chief of the Jayapura city police to probe this case to uncover their plan," Papua Police Chief Inspector General Paulus Waterpauw stated.

Several policemen approached the youngsters in a civil manner while partaking in a prayer gathering at a local church and requested them to leave the congregation. They were then taken to the Abepura police precinct, located some 200 meters away from the church.

They remain under police custody and were grilled by the police investigators. Several local policemen, who approached them inside the church, also confiscated three Bintang Kejora flags that they had brought, he revealed.

Apart from this arrest, Waterpauw claimed that the security situation in Papua, by and large, remained peaceful and under control on Sunday, the day the OPM sympathizers chose to commemorate this separatist organization's anniversary.

In a bid to maintain law and order in Jayapura City and its outskirts, some 700 personnel of the Indonesian military and police as well as the local government's public order officers were deployed to secure Sentani City and the surrounding areas, Jayapura District.

Those personnel were deployed as a precautionary measure against any untoward incident during the commemoration of OPM's anniversary, Jayapura Police Chief Adjunct Sen. Coms. Victor Dean Mackbon stated.

On Saturday, a group of Papuan gunmen fired at an escort car owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) at around Mile 60 in Tembagapura Sub-district, Mimika District, but no casualties were reported in the incident.

Spokesman of the XVII/Cenderawasih Regional Military Command Colonel Eko Daryanto informed ANTARA that the gunmen, who had fired at the PTFI's "Delta Zone" escort car, might belong to an armed Papuan rebel group, led by Hengki Wamang.

The ill-fated vehicle had come under attack when the driver and its two passengers, Latif and Matthew Philips, driven by Ramadhani, were awaiting the arrival of an employee shuttle bus from the Timika bus terminal, he revealed.

The shooting took place at around 3:50 p.m. local time. Some 10 minutes later, several members of the Indonesian military and police task force were stationed at the site of the attack to assist the victims and secure the Mile 60 area, he stated.

"No one is injured in the shooting incident," he confirmed, adding that the military and police personnel should remain on alert to the armed Papuan criminals harboring insidious plans of disrupting Papua's security.

Source: ANTARA News

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