3 Aug 2017

One man dead, several injured in West Papua shooting

1:27 pm on 3 August 2017

Reports from West Papua say one man is dead and up to 16 people have been injured in a police shooting.

This photo taken on April 1, 2017 shows an Indonesian anti-terror police unit during a training exercise in Banda Aceh.

This photo taken on April 1, 2017 shows an Indonesian anti-terror police unit during a training exercise in Banda Aceh. Photo: CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN / AFP

The local newspaper Tabloid Jubi reported seven children were among those who were injured in the incident in Deiyai district on Tuesday.

Four of the injured were airlifted to hospital in Nabire on Wednesday according to a human rights lawyer who deals with West Papua.

Tabloid Jubi reported the security forces were called to deal with a group who were complaining a company hadn't assisted when a man needed help to get a dying man to hospital.

The group of friends reportedly wanted to borrow a car from a company building a bridge in the area, but workers refused and the man later died on the way to hospital.

The lawyer Veronica Koman spoke to an eye witness to the shooting and has seen photos of the injured.

"The company called Brimob (Mobile Brigade Corps). Brimob is a special taskforce of police and Brimob taskforce came and just shooting at people. As a lawyer I think it's not proportional, even if they were angry but it's not necessary to shoot randomly at people. Like children got injured."

The district chief, Fransiskus Bobii, confirmed that one person was killed and that he was trying to calm tensions between police and villagers.

A police report said a 28-year-old man suffered multiple bullet wounds and died instantly.

It said four others were wounded but Santon Tekege, a Catholic priest in Deiyai, put the number of wounded at seven, including two 8-year-olds.

The parliament of the Deiyai area has called for the arrest of officers involved in the shooting and the withdrawal of the mobile brigade.

Tabloid Jubi reported a local police commander said police officers were stoned by the group and they fired warning shots into the air.

A police spokesman Kombes Kamal told Tabloid Jubi the victim's family came to the project site and beat one of the project workers.

According to Associated Press, quoting a police account, a village teacher asked workers of a company doing construction work in the area to help transport a sick villager but they refused because they feared being blamed if he died on the way.

AP reports hours later, the man apparently died and villagers confronted the workers, taking one hostage.

Police went to the village, where they were attacked with rocks and arrows and responded with warning shots, the police statement said, without explaining the death and injuries.

The worker taken hostage is still missing, police said.