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Separatists in Indonesia’s Papua kill 8 workers at telecom tower -Breaking

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JAKARTA, Reuters – Eight technicians were fixing a telecommunications mast in a mountainous region in Indonesia when they were attacked by separatists. Security officials and a spokesperson for a rebel group confirmed that the eight victims had been killed.

This attack was one of the worst in recent years in Papua. It is a region rich in resources that has been witness to a simmering conflict between separatists since it was incorporated into Indonesian in 1969.

Aqsha Erlangga was a military spokesman for Papua. He stated that armed groups killed the eight Puncak residents and one Puncak worker. The soldier could have been seen on CCTV pleading with help.

Sebby Samom, a spokesperson for the separatist Free Papua Movement, stated that some of its members were involved in the attack and earlier warnings had been given to civilians for them to leave an area he called a “war zone”.

He stated that the “those who were killed” were both police and military personnel.

Ahmad Mustofa Kamal (Papua’s police spokesman) stated that the police thought five armed group were responsible for the violence in the early hours on Wednesday as a retaliation against attacks by the security forces.

Kompas TV told him that police warned the civilians about violence and that there was always danger.

Kamal stated that terror groups are able to do anything they like, any time they wish.

On December 18, 2018, OPM’s military arm claimed responsibility for the deaths of at least 16 construction workers, and a soldier who was building a road in Nduga.

According to the separatists, they saw the construction workers in the same light as soldiers and civilians during a war with the Indonesian government.

United Nations experts on human rights called this week for Indonesia’s independent investigation of reports that “shocking abuses” were being committed against indigenous Papuans. This includes killings and forced displacement. Indonesia refused to respond and stated that it has addressed the allegations.

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