Makassar, Sulawesi, (ANTARA News) – Bodies of 16 victims killed by an armed criminal group in Nduga, West Papua Province, were flown to the Hasanuddin Air Force Base in Makassar in South Sulawesi on Friday for burial.
“Of the total, (the bodies of) 14 will be dropped at the base, while the other two would then be taken to Jakarta,” Major Sus Henny Purwanny, the spokesman of the base, stated.
The coffins were expected to arrive at 6:06 p.m. local time aboard Hercules Alfa 1331 of the Air Force.
She revealed that of the nine coffins to be claimed by their families, one was from Gowa and the other from Makassar in South Sulawesi, while seven other coffins will be taken to Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, and from there three would be taken to Palu, one to East Kalimantan, and another one to East Nusa Tenggara.
All bodies have been identified.
Defense Forces` Commander Marshal Hadi Cahyanto and Deputy Police Chief Commissioner General Aridono will arrive at the airport at 4:45 p.m. local time from Papua.
While responding to a query on whether a military ceremony will be held, Cahyanto said it had yet to be confirmed based on the decision of the commander.
“We will see the schedule, if the ceremony will be held. We are now preparing everything needed for the arrival of the coffins,” she noted.
On December 2, 2018, armed criminal group members had murdered several workers building a bridge over Yigi River.
The joint TNI and Polri team has, so far, discovered 16 bodies of slain workers employed by the PT Istaka Karya construction company.
The team managed to evacuate eight survivors and move eight bodies from Nduga to Timika, Mimika District, on Thursday.
Jimy Aritonang, one of the survivors, recalled that some 50 armed men belonging to an outlawed group, led by Egunius Kogoya, had taken 25 workers from the camp to Mount Kabo.
On arriving in the remote mountainous area, the criminals shot the workers, whose hands were bound. Some 14 men died on the spot, while 11 others pretended to be dead and later attempted to escape. However, five were later recaptured and killed by the criminals, while several others managed to reach a military post.
The criminals chased them until the military post and got engaged in a shootout with the officers. One military officer, identified as First Sergeant Handoko, was killed in the attack, while another one was injured.