Telly Nathalia, Jakarta – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs notified all foreign representatives in Indonesia on Thursday about Wednesday's violence in Papua, which resulted in the deaths of two civilians and a soldier.
Another five members of the security forces were wounded and several firearms and ammunition stolen when a large group of protestors used machetes and arrows to attack soldiers and police officers guarding the offices of the Deiyai district head.
The ministry gave the chronology of the series of events, which began with a peaceful rally by about 100 residents against racial animosity shown toward Papuans on Java Island nearly two weeks earlier.
"[The rally] turned violent when a separate group of more than a thousand people, armed with machetes and arrows, attacked the security personnel," the ministry said.
"The armed group brutally attacked military personnel and stole several stored firearms and ammunition. The armed group then continued the attack with the stolen firearms, machetes and arrows," it continued.
The soldier died of wounds inflicted by the attackers. "Two civilians died, one as a result of wounds inflicted by the armed group's arrows and the other of a gunshot wound," the statement said.
Police said on Wednesday that the mob had tried to force the district head to sign a petition calling for an independence referendum for Papua.
The situation in Deiyai returned to normal by Wednesday afternoon. The body of the soldier was transported to his hometown of Palembang, South Sumatra, on Thursday for a funeral, while the wounded members of the military and police were transferred to a hospital in Timika, Papua, for further treatment.
Police reinforcements were deployed in Deiyai on Thursday to help calm the situation, Metro TV reported.
Meanwhile, a separate rally in Jayapura, the provincial capital, on Thursday also turned violent. Reports on the situation are still sketchy amid a government-imposed communications blackout.