27 Sep 2019

Two killed in Papua's Puncak regency

3:13 pm on 27 September 2019

There's been more deadly violence in West Papua with two motorcycle taxi drivers reportedly shot dead in Puncak regency.

Indonesian security forces in a Highlands  village as they pursue independence fighters in West Papua's Puncak Jaya regency.

A Highlands village in West Papua's Puncak Jaya regency. Photo: Supplied

The Antara news agency reported that the deaths in Ilaga sub-district have been blamed by Indonesian authorities on "armed rebels".

Papua provincial police spokesman, Ahmad Kamal, said the two drivers were gunned down in broad daylight in the Highlands regency.

He said the killers belonged to a rebel group led by Venny Murib and fled the scene before police could capture them.

Since last year Indonesian security forces have been engaged in an armed conflict in the Highlands with the pro-independence West Papua Liberation Army.

The conflict has escalated since December when the Papuan guerrilla force killed at least 17 road construction workers in Nduga regency.

The latest killings come amid a wave of protests and deadly unrest in Papua since last month which prompted Indonesia to deploy six thousand extra military and police forces to the region.

On Monday, at least 26 people were killed in the Papuan cities of Jayapura and Wamena after student protests spiralled into unrest.

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