OPM Blamed for Attack On Motorcycle Driver
Banjir Ambarita | May 19, 2012
Jayapura. Police in the violence-wracked town of Mulia in Papua’s Puncak Jaya district have confirmed that three civilians were shot and injured on Thursday by suspected separatists who killed a motorcycle taxi driver earlier in the day.
Sr. Comr. Wachyono, the Papua Police’s chief of detectives, said that following the fatal attack on Arkilaus Refwutu, 48, a joint police and military patrol was dispatched to search for the assailants.
“When they swept the area in the vicinity of the crime scene, they discovered three civilians who had also been shot,” he said.
He added that the three men were immediately taken to Mulia Hospital, where they were placed under intensive care for gunshot wounds.
“All we know for now is that three civilians were shot, but we don’t know how the incident played out,” he said.
The injured people have been identified as Tarinus Tabuni, 17, a high school student who was grazed in the head by a ricochet; Teringgen Murib, 55, a farmer who was shot in the leg; and Yuniter Murib, 20, another farmer who was shot in the leg and grazed in the arm by a bullet’s ricochet.
Teringgen was later evacuated by air to a larger hospital in Jayapura due to the severity of his injury, said Adj. Sr. Comr. Marcelis, the Puncak Jaya Police chief.
All three men were found shot and bleeding following the earlier ambush on Arkilaus, a motorcycle taxi driver who was shot in the head by unknown assailants as he was driving a customer home to Yalinggua village in Mulia.
The police took Arkilaus’s body to Jayapura late on Thursday for an autopsy as part of the investigation into the shooting.
The police initially suspected an “armed civilian group” of killing the motorcycle taxi driver, but they now say that the follow-up attacks against the three other civilians indicate the attackers were likely members of the separatist Free Papua Organization (OPM), a militant group that has been waging a decades-long, low-level insurgency in the province.
The attacks on Thursday were the latest acts of violence to hit Mulia recently. Since the start of the year, there have been at least six shootings of civilians and security personnel there, leaving six people dead.
Additional reporting from Antara