Police blame "group" for Papua election attacks

Police blame "group" for Papua election attacks

The Jakarta Post
by Dicky Christanto

Recent bomb attacks linked to the legislative elections in troubled Papua province may have been orchestrated by a single group, police said Friday.

They said a forensic laboratory report showed that explosive materials used in both bombings were the same.

"The report shows that the bombs used TNT as its main ingredient," National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Abubakar Nataprawira told journalists in Jakarta.

He said TNT was used in bombs planted beneath the Pani bridge in Jayapura and was found in an explosive at the Sumber Makmur store in Abepura, among other sites.

"This confirmed our initial suspicion that the string of attacks were orchestrated by one group," Abubakar said.

However, he refused to elaborate further, saying the details and identity of the group were still being investigated.

A series of attacks rocked Papua just the night before the legislative elections on April 9. Not only did the attackers use bombs in the attacks, but also guns and traditional weapons.

Abubakar said a thorough investigation process was currently underway.

At least five men, including three motorcycle taxi drivers, were killed and several others severely injured in the attacks.

Coordinating Minister of Poli-tical, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo Adisucipto had earlier suggested the attacks were carried out by a separatist group and aimed at disrupting the legislative elections.

However, no faction of the fractured Papua Free Organanization

(OPM) claimed responsibility for the incidents.

Papua Police chief Insp. Gen FX Bagus Ekodanto supported this suspicion, saying the attacks were likely launched by that same group which had for decades waged a campaign for the independence of Papua.

"Months before the attacks we found banners and pamphlets belonging to the Free Papua Organization. The separatist banners called on OPM supporters to cancel or disrupt the legislation elections at every cost, he added.

"We therefore suspected that this *attacks* is what they were talking about,"he told The Jakarta Post.

Dozens of people were arrested and questioned following the attacks, with eight being detained in Papua for intensive interrogations as suspects.