'Kill Or Be Killed' Says Rebel Group Behind Papua Massacre
Construction workers massacred at a remote jungle work camp in Papua were legitimate military targets, a rebel group said Friday, as authorities hunted for more bodies after the grisly weekend attack which killed at least 16.
The National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB) has claimed responsibility for the deadliest bout of violence in years to hit Papua, an Indonesian-controlled region wracked by a low-level independence insurgency.
"(We killed them) because they were members of the Indonesian military in disguise. They're our enemy," Sebby Sambom, spokesman for the TPNPB, told AFP.
"This is war. It's kill or be killed." The rebel group said this week it had killed two dozen people working for a state-owned contractor.
An earlier eyewitness account supplied by the military described execution-style shootings and rebels slitting the throats of workers who tried to escape.
On Friday, the military said most of the victims' hands were tied together with some suffering gunshot or knife wounds and blunt-force injuries. One worker was almost decapitated.
A soldier was also killed by rebels while investigating the killings this week, authorities said.
"We have five children -- he was the youngest. Our only son," said the soldier's distraught mother, Septiani.