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Suspected rebels kill police officer in Indonesia's Papua JAKARTA - An Indonesian police officer died on Monday morning after being injured in an attack by suspected separatist rebels in the country's restive Papua region last week, local media reported on Tuesday.

Police officer Ridwan Napitupulu succumbed to his injuries on Monday morning, four days after he was critically wounded as a result of an attack in Jayapura, the capital of Papua. His death brings the number of police officers killed in Papua this year to five.

According to the Jakarta Globe, Ridwan and a fellow officer were attacked with bows and arrows while on patrol for signs of the banned Morning Star independence flag in the early morning hours of Thursday, which marked the 50th anniversary of the declaration of an independent West Papuan state. The second officer managed to escape, but the attackers caught Ridwan and beat him.

Ridwan's death comes after two members of the police were shot and killed on Saturday when assailants opened fire on a police patrol in the Puncak Jaya highlands of central Papua, the news report said.

Violence is on the rise in the restive province as several people, including pro-independence activists and security forces, have been shot dead in the past months. Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Wachyono said the police will start conducting raids for illicit firearms.

"They obtain their weapons by stealing them from the police or military because right now we don't have a lot of smuggled arms," he told the Jakarta Globe. "The police will increase operations to look for illegal arms in Papua from the air, sea and land."

Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Bigman Lumban Tobing said the police were still investigating how rebel groups had been obtaining their arms. "
So far there is no indication that police officers or military soldiers are involved in supplying weapons to armed groups," he said, as quoted by the newspaper. "
Generally the situation in Papua is under control. Hopefully there will be no more disturbances for the rest of the year."

Violence has plagued Papua since 1969, when Indonesia took over control of the region from the Dutch, ignoring Papuan demands for political sovereignty. Jakarta granted the region special autonomy in 2001, but this failed to quell widespread separatist sentiments.


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Posted in Crime @ 07 December 2011 00:54 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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