Rebels kill spy chief in Indonesia’s Papua province

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Officials, insurgent group on Monday said separatist rebels killed an army general who served as the provincial intelligence agency’s chief in Indonesia’s Papua province.

National Intelligence Agency (BIN) spokesman Wawan Hari Purwanto said Brg.-Gen Gusti Putu Danny Karya was ambushed by the insurgents during a visit to Beoga district on Sunday following recent killings of civilians.

Wawan in a statement said “the head of the Papuan branch of BIN was shot and killed as a hero.’’

He added that Danny Karya was in Beoga to assess the security situation following the killing of four civilians there earlier this month where two teachers were among those killed.

The West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB), the armed wing of the separatist Free Papua Movement claimed responsibility for Danny Karya’s death.

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“Brg.- Gen Gusti Putu was hit by TPNPB’s fire,’’ spokesman Sebby Sambom said in a statement.

“We targeted TNI (Indonesian Armed Forces) members in the firefight, but none of our personnel was injured,’’ he said.

The TPNPB said it was also behind the killing of the two teachers and two other civilians, saying the targets were spies for the Indonesian military.

President Joko Widodo in a televised statement on Monday ordered security forces to crack down on the insurgents.

“I have ordered the military and police chiefs to pursue and arrest members of the armed criminal group.

“There’s no place for armed criminal groups in our nation,’’ he said.

Joko said the slain general had received a posthumous promotion, while expressing his profound condolences to the family he left behind.

Papua has been the scene of a separatist insurgency since the 1960s, but deadly clashes between rebels and government security forces have intensified in the past several years.

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