Jayapura, Jubi – A 7-year-old girl in Intan Jaya Regency, Elpina Dwitau, suffered a gunshot wound during the arrest of suspected members of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) by the security forces.
The incident occurred in Yokatapa Village, Sugapa District, Intan Jaya Regency on Friday, November 4, 2022. Elpina Dwitau, who was allegedly injured in the right waist, was referred to a hospital in Nabire on Saturday.
Head of Information of the XVII/Cenderawasih Military Regional Command Col. Cav. Herman Taryaman confirmed on Saturday that Elpina Dwitau suffered a gunshot wound caused by the ricochet of a bullet projectile by members of the Indonesian Military (TNI) and Police joint forces.
The incident began when the TNI and police pursued and shot Luther Japugau, a suspected TPNPB member who fled when he was about to be arrested.
Herman said Luther Japugau was a member of the TPNPB led by Undius Kogoya. According to Herman, the attempt to arrest Luther Japugau took place on Friday from 3:40 to 7 p.m. Papua time.
Herman said Luther Japugau tried to escape so the joint forces fired one warning shot. Japugau kept running away, therefore the troops shot at him, injuring Japugau's leg. The TNI and police immediately evacuated Luther Japugau to the Sugapa Health Center.
A few moments later, the forces received a report that a child named Elpina Dwitau was evacuated to the Sugapa Health Center due to a gunshot wound to the right waist. Herman stated that the joint forces immediately met Paulus Dwitau, Elpina's parent.
"The TNI and police will certainly be responsible for the incident. At 9:30 this morning, Elpina Dwitau was referred to a hospital in Nabire, accompanied by her mother, Hubertina Belau, for further treatment," Herman said on Saturday. (*)