Jakarta – At least one Indonesian Military (TNI) officer was killed in a clash with West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) freedom fighters in Nduga regency, Papua, on Monday morning.
Papua Cendrawasih Military Command spokesman Col. Muhammad Aidi said around 20 TPNPB personnel attacked TNI soldiers who were patrolling Mugi district airfield at 11:15 a.m.
"We have identified that the attackers were a faction of the TPNPB led by Egianus Kogoya," Aidi said in the provincial capital of Jayapura on Monday as quoted by Antara.
The victim, identified as First Pvt. Kasnum, was shot in the back, Aidi claimed.
"He died at 1 p.m. when being transported to Chiritas Timika Hospital by helicopter. His body will be flown to his hometown in South Aceh [on Tuesday]," Aidi said.
He added TNI personnel stationed at Mugi post provided assistance to the patrol squad. The TPNPB personnel eventually retreated to the forest.
In pursuit of the TPNPB fighters, military personnel reported they found traces of blood, thus it was concluded that a number of freedom fighters were shot during the clash. (kuk)