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Police arrest 21 civilians suspected of OPM affiliation

Police arrest 21 civilians suspected of OPM affiliation

August 11, 2014

The Jakarta Post: Nethy Dharma Somba

The Jayapura Police have taken 21 civilians into custody for their alleged involvement with the separatist Free Papua Movement's (OPM) activities in Kampung Beraf, Nimbokrang district, Jayapura regency, Papua, on Sunday.

Papua Police deputy chief Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said it was suspected that the 21 Jayapura residents were returning from the inauguration of new members of the National Liberation Army for West Papua (TPN PB) by Terianus Sato, the army’s local leader.

One of 21 residents inaugurated at the event was reported to be under 15 years old.

Paulus said the police arrested the civilians as they were traveling on a truck.

When trying to stop the truck, officers allegedly heard shooting from inside the vehicle. Nimbokrang Police precinct chief Second Insp. Jerry, who led the operation, reported the incident to Jayapura Police deputy chief, Comr. Gustav Urbanus, who later ordered his members to pursue the group. "

"Twenty one people were arrested while others, including the civilian who allegedly committed the shooting, managed to escape,” Gustav said.

Waterpauw added that shortly after the incident, Jayapura police officers visited the location where the inauguration ceremony allegedly took place. They confiscated documents, including a number of striped-motive uniforms and banners emblazoned with writing related to the inauguration.

"From information we received, there were foreigners inaugurated at the event. We are still investigating the case,” said Waterpauw, adding that the 21 civilians arrested were being questioned at the Jayapura Police headquarters. (ebf)

ENDS

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