Jayapura, Jubi TV – A shooting occurred between The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) and Police's Mobile Brigade at Trikora Kago Field in Ilaga District, Puncak Regency on Friday evening, May 27, 2022.
A 17-year-old teenager, Lenus Murib, was caught in the crossfire and got shot while running to save himself. Ilaga resident Cheva Mabel said Murib was shot in the stomach and died.
Mabel told Jubi the shooting suddenly happened when people were taking part in a stone-burning ceremony at Trikora Kago Field. The stone-burning party was held by the Papuan Gospel Camp Church (GKIP) of Ilaga.
"When we were about to end the stone-burning ceremony, a small explosion was heard from behind the organizing committee's tent, it was 5:23 p.m. Papua time," said Mabel when contacted by Jubi via telephone on Saturday, May 28. (28/5/2022).
Apparently, the explosion was caused by an electric generator that exploded when turned on. Hundreds of residents who attended the ceremony were shocked by the sound of the explosion and fled in panic. Some other residents were confused and stayed in the field.
At around 5:27 p.m., Police's Mobile Brigade troops arrived in tactical vehicles and opened fire. The shot was returned by a group of TPNPB combatants who had previously been on guard on Mundidok Street. The two parties finally exchanged fire at Trikora Kago Field.
Residents who were still there were caught in the crossfire and tried to escape. That was when Lenus Murib was shot.
"They [TPNPB and Mobile Brigade] exchanged fire in the middle of Kago Field. When Lenus Murib ran for cover, he was shot in the stomach and died. He is an ordinary citizen from Tebenggi Village, North Gome District," said Mabel. According to him, the gunfight at Kago Field continued until 6:21 p.m.
Lenus Murib's relative, Ison Magai, confirmed that Lenus Murib died from being shot in Kago Field on Friday.
"We have cremated his body in Tebenggi Village this Saturday, at around 15:10 p.m.," Magai said.
Ilaga District in Puncak Regency is one of the armed conflict hotspots in Papua. On May 13 this year, a fire burned the teacher housing areas of Wako High School in Wako Village. There were no casualties in the incident. The police alleged the TPNPB carried out the arson but the TPNPB denied the allegation.
On May 11, a truck driver named Nober Palintin, 31, was shot dead in Jilame River, Ilaga. TPNPB claimed they had killed Palintin as they accused Palintin of being an undercover cop.