26.1 C
Ontario
Friday, October 29, 2021

Indonesian officials- The New Indian Express


By AFP

JAKARTA: Separatist rebels were holding four civilians hostage in the jungles of Indonesia’s breakaway Papua region after they killed several construction workers in an ambush, authorities said Friday.

Tensions have been mounting between Indonesian security forces and guerrillas fighting a decades-long insurgency to win independence from the Southeast Asian nation.

Authorities said some 30 rebels opened fire Thursday on a group of Indonesian construction workers building new homes in the province’s central Yahukimo regency, killing at least four people.

Rescue operations to find another four people being held hostage by the rebels are underway, according to the military and Papua police spokesman Ahmad Musthofa Kamal.

“Our team is on their way to the site,” Kamal told AFP on Friday.

It was not clear if all of the hostages were construction workers.  

A rebel spokesman could not be reached for comment and AFP was unable to independently verify the account.

Tensions in the conflict-wracked region have soared in recent months, punctuated by deadly clashes after rebels killed Indonesia’s top intelligence chief in Papua in April.

Jakarta responded by formally designating Papuan separatists as “terrorists”, sparking fears it could open the door to more violence and rights abuses.

Indonesia’s counter-terrorism laws give authorities enhanced powers, including holding suspects for several weeks without formal charges.

The latest incident comes more than two years after Papuan rebels killed 17 construction workers at a remote jungle camp.

The massacre marked an escalation in decades of mostly sporadic skirmishes between poorly armed and disorganised guerrillas and an Indonesian military long accused of gross human rights abuses against civilians.

A former Dutch colony, mineral-rich Papua declared itself independent in 1961, but neighbouring Jakarta took control two years later promising an independence referendum.

The subsequent vote in favour of staying part of Indonesia was widely considered a sham.

Papua’s Melanesian population shares few cultural connections with the rest of Indonesia.



Source link

Latest news

Wintry conditions to hit Coquihalla, Trans-Canada highways

Higher elevation highways are expected to be hit by a blast of wintry weather Thursday, Environment Canada says. A frontal system pushing across B.C...

Beef a bigger challenge than oil and gas when it comes to tackling methane emissions in Canada

As Canada doubles down on efforts to reduce harmful methane emissions, experts say one of the trickiest hurdles standing in the way is...

defence: India not for starting conflicts but always ready to face challenges: Rajnath Singh

Starting any conflict is against the values of a peace-loving India but it is always prepared to face any challenge, Defence Minister Rajnath...

United States issues its 1st passport with ‘X’ gender marker

The United States has issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation, marking a milestone in the recognition of the rights...
Related news

Wintry conditions to hit Coquihalla, Trans-Canada highways

Higher elevation highways are expected to be hit by a blast of wintry weather Thursday, Environment Canada says. A frontal system pushing across B.C...

Beef a bigger challenge than oil and gas when it comes to tackling methane emissions in Canada

As Canada doubles down on efforts to reduce harmful methane emissions, experts say one of the trickiest hurdles standing in the way is...

defence: India not for starting conflicts but always ready to face challenges: Rajnath Singh

Starting any conflict is against the values of a peace-loving India but it is always prepared to face any challenge, Defence Minister Rajnath...

United States issues its 1st passport with ‘X’ gender marker

The United States has issued its first passport with an “X” gender designation, marking a milestone in the recognition of the rights...