Jayapura, 12/3 (Jubi) – Two Timika residents were shot dead by police during clashes between Moni and Dani tribes over a land dispute on Tuesday (11/3), police and priests said.
Police opened fire at tribemembers who were approaching a police station during the tribal fighting in Iwaka, killing Epinus Magai and Yoen Wandagau, according to Pastor Hengki Magal.
The land dispute that erupted two months ago between the tribes of Moni and Dani has triggered clashes that claimed casualties.
“The Dani tribe has killed Kwein Yawame at 7 in the morning (Tuesday,11/3), and Moni people then came for revenge. Dani tribe members who were attacked retreated to the police guard station. So police fired shots,” Pastor Magal said on Wednesday (12/3).
Another pastor, Levinus Rumasep, said police also wounded five other residents.
Police Papua Spokesman, Commissioner Senior Sulistyo Pudjo Hartono confirmed the fatal shootings to OkeZone.com.
He said the police used water cannon and tear gas to ward off the Moni group who were attacking the Dani tribesmen but they turned against the police.
Police fired shots to defend themselves, killing two and injuring three. Two peoples were injured are Nokolek Abugau dan Okto Dimpau. One of them still be identified.
He said a police officer was also injured. “As the result of the attack of the Moni people, our official Brigadier Eka Suprianto was hit by an arrow in the neck. He was immediately evacuated to the hospital,” he said.
The police was patrolling the neighborhoods of Moni and Dani in Djayanti-Mayon to seize their traditional weapons that have been used to attack each other. (Jubi/Victor Mambor/rom)