The separate incidents before the local elections and amid an uprising against the Indian government low poorly armed militia Indonesia. In the bloodiest violence, clashes between hundreds of supporters of rival candidates killed 17 people and wounded dozens in the remote district of Puncak on Sunday, police said.
Armed with machetes, stones and arrows, the crowd of people were burnt houses and cars during the chaos, the local police chief said Alex Korwa. “We have introduced dozens of police and army to protect the area. The situation is tense but under control,” he said, adding that investigations were underway.
The newly created district, which is only a plane, is scheduled to hold its first municipal elections of November 9.
In a separate incident, unidentified gunmen shot four people including one soldier and wounding at least seven other attack on a minibus in Abepura district Monday, police said. The attackers blocked the road near the village: NAFRI and opened fire on the passengers inside the bus, Papua police spokesman said Wachyono province.
“Four people, including a military officer, was killed. At least seven others were injured after being attacked with sharp weapons, possibly axes and machetes,” he added.
The research would determine whether the attackers were from Papua Liberation Movement (OPM) rebel militias, he said. OPM has conducted a low-level insurgency – often with bows and arrows instead of guns – against the government of Indonesia’s resource-rich, ethnically Melanesian region since 1964