Indonesian military say two Papuan rebels arrested over Kisor post attack

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Caskets of four Indonesian soldiers in Papua
The caskets of four Indonesian soldiers who died in the pro-independence attack on the Kisor military post were transported to their hometowns for their funeral. Image: Ernes Broning Kakisina/Antara

Asia Pacific Report newsdesk

Indonesian police have arrested two suspects in connection with an attack on the Kisor military post which killed four soldiers late last week, reports Antara news agency from Sorong.

“The suspects have admitted their involvement,” claimed the commander of the XVIII/Kasuari Regional Military Command, Major General I Nyoman Castiasa, after paying his respects for the dead soldiers on Friday.

Castiasa led a military procession to honour the soldiers before their caskets were transported to their hometowns for their funeral.

The two alleged West Papuan independence fighters have been placed under police custody for further investigation, he said.

The commander added that he did not yet know the exact number of the attackers.

Castiasa appealed to members of the community in West Papua who were still independence to end the conflict and “work together to develop” the province.

“If they are stubborn and continue their campaign of insurgency, they will be crushed,” he said.

Military post ambush
In the early hours of Thursday, the pro-independence fighters ambushed several soldiers while they were sleeping at the Kisor military post.

2nd Sergeant Amrosius, Chief Private Dirham, First Private Zul Ansari, and First Lieutenant Dirman died in the attack, according to spokesperson for the XVIII/Kasuari Regional Military Command, Lt Col Hendra Pesireron.

The bodies of three soldiers were found at the post, while another was discovered in the bush not far from the post.

Pesireron added that another soldier, First Private Ikbal, could not be found.

Police chief Inspector General Tornagogo Sihombing in West Papua province said two suspects have been apprehended, but police investigators were continuing their probe into the Kisor military post attack.

“The suspects are under police custody at South Sorong police precinct,” he said.

The assault on the Kisor military post was the latest incident in the armed uprising by Papuan nationalists.

Covid-19 pandemic
In the midst of the government’s handling of the covid-19 pandemic in Papua and West Papua, the two Melanesian provinces have been gripped with the armed independence struggle over the past few months of 2021.

In April, two teachers in Julukoma village, Beoga sub-district, Puncak district, were allegedly killed by independence fighters.

On August 22, 2021, a rebel group operating in Yahukimo district attacked several construction workers of PT Indo Mulia Baru who were involved in building a bridge on Brazza River, killing two.

Independence fighters also attacked the Indonesian Police’s Mobile Brigade (Brimob) unit when they went to the shooting site to recover the bodies, Pesireron said.

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