Jayapura, Jubi – Eight workers of PT Palapa Timur Telematika were shot dead by the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Ahmad Musthofa Kamal said the victims were repairing the Base Transceiver Station (BTS) 3 of communication provider Telkomsel in Beoga District, Puncak Regency when they got shot.
The attack was known after a worker of PT Palapa Timur Telematika contacted the security forces on Thursday.
Spokesperson of XVII/Cenderawasih Military Command Col. Inf. Aqsha Erlangga said that one of the eight victims was a local resident. “The names of the victims who died were Billy, Renal, Bona, Bebi Tabuni, Jamal, Eko, Syahril, and Pak De,” said Erlangga.
TPNPB spokesperson Sebby Sambom confirmed that the TPNPB under the leadership of Goliath Tabuni and Lekagak Telenggen was behind the shooting in Beoga that killed eight people. The shooters were TPNPB troops under Aibon Kogoya and Undius Kogoya.
“The TPNPB under the leadership of General Goliath Tabuni and Major General Lekagak Telenggen recently attacked in Beoga, Puncak Regency,” said Sambom.
However, Sambom denied that the TPNPB shot civilians in Beoga. He said the TPNPB had previously announced that Beoga was a war zone and asked civilians to leave Beoga. Thus, according to him, the workers they shot dead were security forces.
“There is no way [the eight people shot] were civilians. Because the TPNPB has asked civilians to immediately leave the war zone. Therefore, those who were shot were all members of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and Police,” said Sambom.
In June 2021, the TPNPB made warnings to all Indonesian citizens to leave several “war zones” in Papua, namely Intan Jaya, Puncak, and Ndugama regencies. The TPNPB emphasized that workers in war areas should also immediately leave the location.
“TPNPB will not be responsible if the workers were shot dead,” said the TPNPB at that time.
On Thursday, March 3, another shooting occurred between the TPNPB and the TNI at the Dambet Military Post, the Yonif R 408/SBH Task Force in Dambet Village, Beoga. This attack resulted in First Pvt. Herianto being shot in the neck below the ear. (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G