Various observers have claimed that Indonesian military helicopters dropped explosives on multiple villages in the Pegunugan Bintang Regency, Papua Province. According to witness testimonies, the air raids occurred between 10 and 21 October 202 in the villages Pelebip, Kiwi, Delpem, and Lolim, all located in the Kiwirok District. The houses in the affected villages reportedly burnt to the ground due to the attacks (see photos below, source: TPNPB & YKKMP).
The Papuan Peoples Assembly (MRP) and the Manokwari Institute for Research Study and Development of Legal Aid (LP3BH Manokwari) independently confirmed that they received information about the bombings from their information networks. MRP chairman, Timotius Murib, called upon Indonesian security forces to immediately refrain from any war tactics that could jeopardise civilians’ wellbeing in the conflict areas, including Pegunungan Bintang.
The spokesperson of the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN PB), Sebby Sambom, claimed that military choppers dropped about 50 mortar grenades (see photo, source: independent HRDs) on villages and a TPN PB base camp. According to Sambom, most of the grenades were directed at civilian settlements. Local villagers found multiple explosives which had not detonated (see photos, source: YKKMP) shortly after the raids.
More than 2,000 indigenous Papuans in the Pegunungan Bintang Regency have reportedly fled their homes following the burning of public facilities and the killing of a health worker in the Kiwirok District on 13 September 2021.
Local government representatives in Pegunungan Bintang announced that the government would facilitate the return of more than 300 IDPs from Kiwirok before December 2021. The IDPs have erected camps in 17 locations across the regency’s largest town, Oksibil, as houses and public facilities in Kiwirok have been destroyed. Local government representatives in Pegunungan Bintang called upon teachers, doctors and health workers to return to their place of work as soon as the security situation in the regency has recovered.
Photos of villages in the Pegunungan Bintang Regency shortly after the air raids: