Wednesday, March 16, 2016

WPNLA Claims Responsibility for Papua Attacks, Govt Considers Poso-Style Military Operation
WPNLA Claims Responsibility for Papua Attacks, Govt Considers Poso-Style Military Operation
By : Jakarta Globe | on 12:35 PM March 16, 2016

A relative of one of the four killed Modern employees is assisted after fainting on Tuesday in Jayapura, Papua. (Antara Photo/Indrayadi TH)

Jakarta. The West Papuan National Liberation Army, or WPNLA, has claimed responsibility for a shooting attack in Punck district, Papua, on Tuesday (15/03) at a construction site of the government's Jalan Trans Papua project, prompting a government leader to suggest heightened military operations in the area.
Four employees of the Modern construction firm were killed during an attack orchestrated by around 20 armed men while working at the Jalan Trans Papua construction site at 1.35 p.m. Three were killed during the attack, with one dying later in hospital.
“We are responsible for the shootings. Now, [every movement] has been under one command,” WPNLA spokesman Sebby Sambom said on late Wednesday, as reported by Republika on Wednesday (16/03).
The armed group WPNLA has supported both West Papua National Committee (KNPB) and the Free Papua Movement (OPM). Goliat Tabuni, a high profile OPM member, is believed to be a commander of the group.
Sebby said the attack was intended to end the construction of Jalan Trans Papua — a major piece of President Joko Widodo's infrastructure plan — calling the 4,000 kilometer long road a type of colonialism.

The group had been instructed by its leaders to stop the construction, Sebby said, adding the attack is part of a so-called "local revolution."
Seven workers escaped the attack uninjured, while an excavator and a bulldozer were burned.
Papua police chief Paulus Waterpauw said 40 police and military officers have been deployed at the scene and to search for the group.
Security Chief Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said the government is considering launching military operations in Papua similar to a Poso, Central Kalimantan, operation to capture a terror group led by fugitive Santoso.
“In Poso, the operation is developing well,” Luhut said on Tueday, as quoted from
Around 2,500 police and military officers have been deployed to the hilly jungles of Poso since January as part of Operation Tinombala to capture Santoso and his followers.

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