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Military says OPM killed soldier in Paniai

Jakarta Post - April 15, 2024

Jakarta – The Army's Cendrawasih Military Command in Central Papua said that a soldier died in Aradide district after allegedly being attacked by a group of Free Papua Movement (OPM) rebels.

The soldier was Second Lt. Oktovianus Sogalrey, a commander of Aradide district's military command in Paniai regency in Central Papua.

He was found dead with gunshot wounds on Thursday on the Trans-Papua road between Aradide and Enarotali, the capital of Paniai, according to Cendrawasih Military Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Chandra Kurniawan.

"There is a presumption that the perpetrator in the shooting that killed the Aradide commander was an OPM group led by Matias Gobay," Chandra said on Friday, as quoted by Antara.

Chandra said Oktovianus reportedly left the Aradide headquarters on Wednesday afternoon on a motorcycle owned by the base. He failed to return to the base and the military sent a search party the following morning.

"Shortly after being found, the victim's body was evacuated to Enarotali, then taken to Nabire [the capital city of Central Papua]," Chandra said, adding that the soldier was not carrying any firearms when he left the base and the motorcycle was not found at the scene.

The Aradide headquarters is under the Cendrawasih Military Command, which oversees security forces in four of Papua's six provinces, including Central Papua.

Previously, the OPM's armed wing the West Papua National Liberation Army Free Papua Movement (TPNPB) claimed that they were behind the attack in Aradide. "The TPNPB attacked and killed a soldier with the rank of second lieutenant [...] on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.," the TPNPB said in a statement on Thursday. (jan)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/indonesia/2024/04/15/military-says-opm-killed-soldier-in-paniai.htm