Separatist attack in Indonesia

This item appears on page 17 of the February 2019 issue.

Gunmen attacked a group of construction workers building a road bridge in the Nduga region of West Papua, Indonesia, on Dec. 2, killing 24 people. A soldier was later shot and killed in the same area when a team of police and military went to the area to investigate.

Authorities suspect that the attackers were members of a separatist group, the activities of which were photographed by at least one of the construction workers before the attack, authorities believe.

West Papua, which is the western half of the island that also contains the country Papua New Guinea, gained independence from the Netherlands in 1961 but was claimed by Indonesia eight years later. A dangerous, but unorganized, separatist movement has been active ever since.