Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The House of Representatives (DPR) has appreciated the cooperation of the Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) and the National Police (Polri) to free villagers who had been taken hostage by the Armed Criminal Group (KKB) in Papua.

The synergy of TNI-Polri to free hostages from the armed groups in Papua deserves appreciation, as it shows a form of first-class cooperation that has saved the lives of hundreds of residents, said House Commission I member, Charles Honoris.

"I highly appreciate the synergy of the TNI and police to free hostages from the armed groups in Papua," Honoris noted in a written statement in Jakarta on Saturday.

He added that under the Government of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, the TNI and the Police could work in good cooperation.

The cooperation between the two forces has achieved greater results, especially in security operations and while safeguarding the state sovereignty.

"The people of Indonesia certainly expect that the solidity and synergy of TNI-Polri would continue well," he asserted.

Honoris, who is a politician of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), remarked that the solidity of both institutions will ensure the safety of Indonesia. Therefore, it should continue to be improved in order to maintain the defense and security of the state.

Previously, TNI and police officers had managed to evacuate 345 villagers of Kimberly and Utikini villages, Papua, on Friday afternoon (Nov 17).

The process of evacuation of hostages was reportedly interrupted by shootings from the armed criminal groups.

Papua Regional Police Chief Inspector General Boy Rafli Amar confirmed the evacuation of the villagers who had been taken hostages by KKB in Kimbely.

He revealed that the evacuation process continued for almost five hours, accompanied by attacks or gunfire from KKB members. 

Of the 345 hostages, 23 were children, he noted, 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 kept shooting from a height during the evacuation process.

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

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