Jayapura (AlbumPapua) A New Zealander, identified as 57-year-old Graeme Thomas Wall, was shot dead and two Indonesians, namely Jibril M.A.B and Ucok , were seriously wounded in an attack by separatist rebels. “The shooting happened on Monday, March 30, at around 2 pm local time. We express our deep condolences for one of our workers who was killed in the shooting at the office complex of Freeport Indonesia, in Kuala Kencana, Timika,” said Freeport Indonesia spokesperson Riza Pratama. Four other people sustained minor injuries and were treated in the office.
Papua Police chief Paulus Waterpauw stated that the perpetrators, three of eight carrying long rifles, were under the command of Joni Botak, the leader of an armed group operating in the Timika area, and who is also on the police’s most-wanted list. The two attackers have been identified as Limo Mom Illimar and Antonius Aim.
The pro-independence group West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), however, claimed responsibility for the shooting. “Our battlefield is at the Freeport and Grassberg mining sites. Kuala Kencana is also a war zone. We will not stop until Freeport closes down, so they had better close at once,” TPNPB Timika operational commander Hengky Wamang said.
Indonesia’s Ambassador to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya, has condemned the shooting attack. The shooting in Kuala Kencana will only add the encumbrance of the people and the security apparatus in Papua, who are now on duty in containing the Covid-19 epidemic. “It demonstrates that the armed criminal group never cares about the impact of their actions to the Papuans. “Our deepest condolences to the family of the victims. We stand ready to help when needed.”
The management of PT Freeport Indonesia has issued an incident notification alert after the attack, requesting workers to halt all activities and immediately find places for protection.