Jayapura, Jubi – The West Papua National Liberation Army or TPNPB claimed they has shot dead an Indonesian Military (TNI) soldier at Aminggaru Airport in Ilaga, the capital of Puncak Regency, Papua on Saturday, February 19, 2022.
Contrary to the information announced by the TNI, TPNPB spokesperson Sebby Sambom claimed that the attack on Saturday resulted in one TNI soldier dead and two other soldiers injured.
“Numbuk Telenggen, the Field Commander, has contacted the TPNPB Central Headquarters and reported that this morning we had armed contact with the TNI at Aminggaru Airport. We TPNPB troops managed to shoot dead a member of the TNI and injure two other members,” said Sambom in a written statement.
According to Sambom, the gunfight at Aminggaru Airport started at 04.00 a.m. local time. The attack involved General Operations Commander Maj. Gen. Lekagak Telenggen, Commander of the Ilaga Regional Defense Command Brig. Gen. Penny Murib, Commander of the Sinak Regional Defense Command Brig. Gen. Militer Murib, and Field Commander Numbuk Telenggen.
“In today’s firefight, none of the TPNPB troops fell victims,” said Sambom.
Contacted separately, a resident in Ilaga confirmed there was a gunfight in Ilaga. According to them who refused to be named, the gunfight around Aminggaru Airport on Saturday took place at around 06.30 a.m.
“When the shooting occurred, the residents were still in their gardens. Maybe this afternoon they will return to their homes,” they said.
They said that a gunfight around the town of Ilaga occurred again at 15.25 a.m. They said that, according to the circulated news, a resident who worked as a driver was injured and being treated at a local hospital. However, Jubi had yet to confirm the news.
Meanwhile, head of Information for XVII/Cenderawasih Military Command Col. Inf. Aqsha Erlangga stated that one TNI soldier was injured in the firefight on Saturday morning. “On Saturday at 07.56 a.m. local time, [armed groups] shot TNI soldiers, namely the Kopasgat Air Base Task Force at Ilaga’s Aminggaru Airport, which resulted in one person, Chief Pvt. Fermansyah, getting shot in the right shoulder,” Erlangga explained.
He further informed that Chief Pvt. Fermansyah was conscious and had been evacuated to the Ilaga Community Health Center. “We plan to evacuate the victim using an Indonesian Air Force helicopter to Mozes Kilangin Airport in Timika,” he added. (*)
Jubi journalist Victor Mambor contributed to this article
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Aryo Wisanggeni G