New Zealand Pilot Philip Mark Mehrten Taken Hostage By Separatists In Indonesia Remote Papua

New Zealand Pilot Taken Hostage: Separatist fighters took a New Zealand pilot hostage in Indonesia’s Papua region. The name of this pilot is being told as Pilot Philip Mark Mehrten. Pilot Philippe, 37, was taken hostage after his plane was attacked. This plane had landed in the remote mountainous province of Nduga. There were five passengers in it.

Papua police spokesman Ignatius Beni Prabowo said soldiers and police were searching for the pilot and passengers. We cannot send many personnel there because it is very difficult to reach Nduga.

New Zealand pilot taken hostage

According to a BBC report, the West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) has told that the pilot is safe, but will not release him until our conditions are met. Sebby Sambom, a spokesperson for TPNPB, said that five passengers have been released. A child was also included in these. All of them were natives of Papua.

What did the PM of New Zealand say?

Indonesian authorities say they are deploying a search and rescue team. At the same time, the police said that this work is very difficult because the remote area can be reached only by air. Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said that the country’s embassy in Jakarta is working on the matter. The Ministry of External Affairs had earlier said that it is well aware of the situation.

Separatist fighters said the attack

The small plane belonging to Indonesia’s Susi Air had taken off from Mozes Kilangin Airport in Central Papua early Tuesday and was due to return a few hours later after dropping off passengers in Nduga. Fighters from the West Papua Liberation Army, the military wing of the Free Papua Organisation, stormed the plane shortly after it landed in the mountainous district of Nduga on Tuesday.

What condition did the separatist fighters keep?

TPNPB spokesman Sebby Sambom said that pilot Philip Mark Mehrten was taken hostage. The passengers, including a small child, were released as they were from Papua. Separatists say they will not release the pilot until the independence of West Papua is recognized.

The struggle of the separatist fighters of Papua

Separatists have long been demanding independence from Indonesia for the province of West Papua. Papua was incorporated into the country in 1969 after a vote sponsored by the United Nations, which was strongly criticized. Since then an insurgency has flourished in the mineral-rich region. It is divided into two provinces, Papua and West Papua. The conflict escalated last year, killing dozens of rebels, security forces and civilians.

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