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November 25, 2020, 07.52 PM – An Indonesian military (TNI) personnel from Infantry Battalion (Yonif) 756/WMS went missing in patrol duties held at Utikini Village, Tembagapura District, Papua on Tuesday, November 17.

The TNI in Timika called for support from the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) to assist in the search for Second Private Hengky Sumarlin Zai.

Brigadier General Suswatyo, chief of operational staff division (Asops) at TNI’s Joint Defense Area Command (Kobagwilhan) III in Timika, said on November 24 that his office had received a report from the 1710/Mimika Military District Command (Kodim) about the disappearance of Second Private Hengky.

Also read: Indonesian Soldier Killed in Clash with Armed Criminal Group in Papua

“We have also received the 1710/Mimika Military District Command’s report and called for the assistance from Basarnas to participate in the search with our team. Hopefully, he can be found safe,” Brigadier General Suswatyo told State News Antara.

Mimika 1710 Military District Commander Lieutenant Colonel (Inf) Yoga Cahya Prasetya said that previously the search was done by the military personnel and Tembagapura police.

Second Private Hengky disappeared when he and a dozen soldiers were patrolling along the river. He wore a dress uniform with a vest, helmet, and carried an SS2-V4 weapon under the registration number of 01-4296. He served as scout regiment member.

Also read: Armed Group Attacks Government Office, Public Market in Indonesia’s Papua

The group then saw a suspicious honai, the traditional house of Papuans, by the river. As they approached the target, a suspicious person was seen running away. The military personnel then chased the person.

“They [military members] were all in one row and not separated. So, 10 people crossed the river, while five others walked around it. Second Private Hengky crossed the river with the others,” said Lieutenant Colonel Yoga.

As the team gathered, they realized that Second Private Hengky was no longer with them.

(Editor: Robertus Belarminus)


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