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TNI nabs suspect of armoury raid in Papua

Jakarta Post - April 13, 2003

Jakarta – The Indonesian military (TNI) has arrested a man suspected of involvement in last week's raid on an armoury in Papua province, a district commander said on Saturday.

A group of 15 armed gunmen broke into the Wamena district military compound last Friday during a power cut and made off with 29 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Two soldiers and a suspected rebel were killed.

District military chief Lieutenant Colonel Masrumsyah described the man as "a local resident" and said soldiers had to shoot him in the leg to capture him. "For the moment, he is still under interrogation," he told AFP from Wamena.

Masrumsyah said last week he suspected that a splinter group of the Free Papua Movement raided the armoury. But an internal investigation into possible army involvement in the raid is currently in place. There have been cases in the past in Indonesia of poorly paid troops selling weapons.

The Free Papua Movement, a poorly armed separatist rebel outfit, has waged a sporadic low-level armed revolt since the Dutch ceded control of theresource-rich territory to Indonesia in 1963.

Under an autonomy law that came into effect in January 2002, the province was promised a much greater share of revenues from its rich natural resources.