Gunmen kill police officer

Nethy Dharma Somba , The Jakarta Post , Jayapura | Tue, 02/16/2010 3:00 PM | The Archipelago

Gun violence has continued unabated in Mulia district, Puncak Jaya regency, Papua, with the latest victim a member of the police’s mobile brigade.

Sahrul Mahulau, 23, was killed Monday by an unknown gunman believed to be using a handgun.

The bullet penetrated his neck, exiting through his left shoulder.

Puncak Jaya Police chief Adj. Snr. Comr. Alex Korwa said the incident took place at 11:15 a.m. local time (9:15 a.m. Jakarta time) in front of a gasoline distribution outlet in Mulia.

“The victim was on duty guarding the distribution outlet,” Alex said.

“He was waiting for backup from the mobile brigade and the Rajawali Military Command, when all of a sudden two men on a motorbike rode up, got off the bike and fired two twice from a distance of one meter.

“One shot went right through his neck,” Alex added.

He said the gunmen then stole the Sahrul’s gun and ammunition magazine and fled. They were last seen heading toward Yalinggua kampung.

A joint force comprising the police mobile brigadiers, Rajawali Military Command soldiers and Puncak Jaya Police officers searched the area, but made no arrests.

Authorities believe the gunmen may have fled into the forest.

Sahrul’s body was taken to a local hospital before being flown to Jayapura for an autopsy.

The attack is the latest in a string of shooting incidents in Mulia since early 2009.

Early last year, the Tingginambut security post was raided and the attackers made off with three guns.

An attack on a motorcycle taxi, or ojek, left one person dead and two wounded. That was followed by an ambush on a group of soldiers, in which one was killed and a gun was stolen.

Two mobile brigade officers were killed last year, with Sahrul the third, while an attack at a construction site claimed a civilian life.

Over in West Papua, meanwhile, a TV cameraman was stabbed to death aboard a ferry on Friday after accosting a drunken attacker, leading to a condemnation of alcohol by a tribal elder.

Marlon Mra Mra, who worked for Papua TV, was killed aboard the KM Nggapulu on his way home from an assignment on Mansinam Island in Manokwari regency, West Papua.

While filming aboard the ferry, he encountered a visibly intoxicated man, later identified as David Korwa, assaulting his female companion, Yulo Waromi, with a knife.

In attempting to intervene, he was stabbed to death by David.

Local police chief Petrus Waine said the perpetrator had been under the influence of alcohol when he turned on his companion, prior to Marlon intervening.

“The perpetrator was unhappy because he felt the victim was interfering in his personal affairs,” Petrus said.

The stabbing incident had an immediate fallout once the ferry reached port. Taking his body to the morgue for an autopsy, some of Marlon’s relatives rioted on the streets, reportedly damaging three cars.

Local elder Forkorus Yoboisembut blamed alcohol for fueling the crime wave across Papua and West Papua.

“It triggers crime, rioting and violence,” he told The Jakarta Post. “It’s worrying, and can lead to feuds.”

Forkorus called on the authorities to ban alcoholic drinks.

Police say drunkenness is the underlying cause of at least 2,000 cases of assault, 27 murders and 92 rapes in the two provinces.

They also blame it for 135 traffic accidents that have caused 58 deaths.

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