Police said they were investigating the incident. After an insurgent group claimed to have burned the pilot’s plane. But said they would have trouble reaching the area.
A New Zealand pilot was taken hostage by separatist. Fighters in Indonesia’s Papua region. After a small commercial plane was set on fire. After it landed in a remote highland area on Tuesday, a pro-independence group said in a statement.
Ignatius Beni Adi Prabowo, a police spokesman in Papua province. said authorities were investigating the incident. To the area to locate the pilot and five passengers.
“We cannot send many workers there because Nduga is a difficult area to reach. We can only go there by air,” he said.
A Papuan military spokesman, Harman Tarayaman. Philip Marthens.
The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPPNB). Claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement seen by Reuters. Saying the pilot would not be released. Until the Indonesian government recognized the independence of West Papua. Which points to the western side of New Island. the guinea
TPNPB made no mention of the passengers, but said the group took hostages a second time. The first incident was in 1996. The New Zealand embassy in Jakarta and Indonesia’s foreign ministry. Did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A UN-sponsored vote in 1969 controversially brought the resource-rich region under Indonesian control.
The conflict has escalated significantly since 2018. Resulting in deadly and frequent attacks by pro-independence fighters.
To get more weapons, including raids and thefts of army posts. Cross-border purchases and illegal sales of government-issued weapons. The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict said. A report from last year.
Susi Air founder and former fisheries minister Susi Pudjiastuti said on Twitter. That she was praying for the safety of the pilot and passengers.