Banjir Ambarita, Jayapura – Two Papuans from the Moni tribe were shot dead by the National Police's Mobile Brigade (Brimob) on Tuesday during a clash with police in Jayanti, Timika.
Police claimed the two victims were part of a group that attacked police with arrows. Papua Police spokesman Sr. Comm. Sulistyo Pujo confirmed that police had fired on the group.
"Arrows were flying over toward the barricade," Sulistyo said. "Police then fired gunshots to dismiss the crowd attacking them. One officer, Eka, was shot in the neck and is now in intensive care. Two residents, J.M. and T.M., were found dead after we conducted a sweep of the area."
Sulistyo said that at 6 a.m. local time, Mimika Police went door to door in Jayanti to recover guns and other weapons after tensions between the Dani and Moni tribes had become exacerbated in recent days and threatened to spill over into violence. "The sweep was also to detain the two tribe chiefs," Sulistyo said.
Police seized dozens of bows and arrows, he added, but it was later found that a Moni man had been killed. There was no indication that he was killed by police.
The Moni then fired several arrows toward the rival Dani tribe before turning on police, whom they blamed for the man's death because his weapons had been seized. The police then fired on the Moni.
"After the crowd was finally dispersed, we then found the two people who had been shot," Sulistyo said, adding that their remains have been sent to Timika for autopsies. Sulistyo said police had the situation under control.