Source: West Papua Media
Undercover local human right sources have claimed that at 1530 local time on December 3, that two platoons from the “Coconut” brigade of Gegana Brimob anti-terrorist police, set fire to a church, houses, and guard houses in the village of Wandenggobak.
Brimob Gegana is a specialised highly mobile bomb and anti-terrorist unit that receives funding, arming and training by the Australian Government, and is trained by the Australian Federal Police at the joint Australia-Indonesian Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation. Standard weaponry used by Gegana include the AusSteyr rifle, manufactured by Australian Defence Industries. It is not known if the flamethrowers used to burn down the church were amongst those supplied by Australia.
The church burning against civilians occurred as reprisal for an attack by Tabuni that left two Brimob officers dead earlier in the day. Gegana Brimob police officers Bripda Ferly and Bripda Eko were killed, with Bripda Syukur being treated for minor thigh grazing.
Civilian casualties have been reported, though not verified at this stage. It is not known if villagers were in any of the buildings, or seeking shelter in the church at the time it was razed by Indonesian police.
These reports are based on contact with two regular and established credible sources. The usual standard for claiming fact verification for West Papua Media is our three independent source rule, but we are still awaiting further detailed reports from the area. Papuan, Indonesian and international journalists have been banned from the area in Puncak Jaya where the offensive is occurring which has been informally declared as a Military Operations Area (Daerah Operasi Militer/ DOM)
The offensive has allegedly started after the guerrilla forces of Tabuni allegedly launched attacks on military targets on December 1, after a massive nonviolent flagraising ceremony in Tingginambut.
However, other credible sources in Wamena have sent appeals saying that Tabuni is close by Wamena. ”After General Tabuni started war on December 1 … Our international highlanders are feeling deeply traumatised … ordinary people are starting to arm themselves with traditional weapons on the streets”, a translated SMS message sent to West Papua Media early on December 4 claimed.
The situation is tense at time of writing. Please stay tuned for further developments.