Nine Bombs Discovered in Papua Classed As High Explosives, Forensic Police Say

Nine Bombs Discovered in Papua Classed As High Explosives, Forensic Police Say

The Jakarta Globe
Farouk Arnaz

The National Police’s Forensics Laboratory said on Friday that nine homemade bombs suspected to have been placed by separatist rebels at three locations in Papua Province earlier this month contained TNT and ammonium nitrate, which categorized them as high explosives.

All nine of the devices were encased in pipes with red cables attached, but failed to go off because they were missing detonators, police said. The largest of the bombs was found on April 8 under the Muara Tami Bridge near the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, along with a smaller device at the same location. Four more were found on April 12 around 100 meters from the Abepura Police station, near a local store, with the remaining three near another shop.

Police said that while they were unable to identify suspects, "all the signs point to the Free Papua Movement [OPM]. We don’t know what the motive is behind this incident because we haven’t captured a suspect yet," National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Abubakar Nataprawira said, adding they were sure the bombs were placed by the same group.

"We are still investigating if there were other chemical elements inside the bombs," said Brig. Gen. Budiono, head of the forensics unit. "The investigation was undertaken by our branch laboratory at Makassar, South Sulawesi."

A police source said that if the bombs had detonated, they "would have damaged a surrounding area of at least 10 to 25 square meters. The effect would have been like a grenade, but it wouldn’t have been enough to collapse the bridge."