JAKARTA: Thirteen Indonesian soldiers were shot dead in an attempt to rescue a New Zealand airline pilot held by separatist rebels.
In Indonesian-controlled West Papua, insurgents have been engaged in occasional attacks against the government. They have been demanding independence from Indonesia for a long time. The Indonesian government is also taking various drastic measures to suppress these rebels.
In this situation, the rebels captured a pilot named Phillip from New Zealand last February. They arrested Philip and released videos and photos. The rebels had released a video saying that pilots from neighbouring countries are not allowed to work here until West Papua is liberated.
As the Indonesian army continued to make efforts to rescue Philip, insurgents attacked Indonesian military facilities in Yal and Muki districts. 13 soldiers were shot dead by the insurgents. While this incident caused a shock, “We ask the United Nations Security Council to mediate the armed conflict between the Liberation Army and the Indonesian Army in West Papua,” the rebels said.
The rebel freedom fighter group also asked New Zealand, Australia, Britain, the United States, France, China, and Russia to end cooperation with the Indonesian military.