CNN Indonesia, Jakarta – The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) reports that the Indonesian Military (TNI) and police have air bombed villages in Ilaga District on May 15-16, 2021 using three helicopters. The TNI, however, denies such allegation.
TPNPB spokesperson Sebby Sambom said that the Indonesian security forces released 40 rocket bomb attacks on their bases but a number of honai (traditional Papuan houses) were also hit by the bombs.
"The TNI and police along with a special force named the Devil Troops attacked residential areas in Ilaga," Sambom said in a written statement on Monday. Sambom said hundreds of residents fled to neighboring villages in the past few days.
Joint Regional Defense Command III spokesperson Col. Czi IGN Suriastawa refuted the claim, saying it was a hoax. The colonel, however, did not elaborate further on Ilaga's conditions and security.
"As usual, the 'TPNPB News' makes fake news. We know who they are so no need to respond, it is a waste of time," Suriastawa told CNNIndonesia.com.
Meanwhile, the police's Nemangkawi Task Force chief Sr. Comr. Iqbal Alqudusy said that the TNI and police had never bombed nor burned villages. "The TNI and police do not burn villages. From Beoga to Ilaga, it was the armed criminal group who burned schools," Alqudusy said.
"Everything [Sambom] said was lies," he added.
In the last few days, armed conflict between the TNI and police and the TPNPB escalated in Ilaga. Shootings occurred in Mayuberi Bridge on Sunday.
According to the Nemangkawi Task Force, the police had shot three TPNPB soldiers of the Lekagak Telenggen group. Two of them died and one person fled.
During a search after the shooting, the police found two bodies of the dead TPNPB soldiers, a Moser 7.62 rifle, a handy talkie, 17 rounds of ammunition, and four bullet casings. (mjo/pmg)