An Indonesian Air Force CASA CN-295M landed safely in Oksibil province on Monday, despite having five bullet holes caused by separatists shooting at the transport plane.
After taking off from Jayapura city, Papua, the aircraft took bullet shots around 8.50 a.m. local time while flying at an altitude of 4,800 feet over Serambakon district in Pegunungan Bintang regency, Papua.
“The plane managed to land in the capital of Pegunungan Bintang, Oksibil, but five holes were found on its body. It was not heavily damaged and could still function,” Cenderawasih Military Command spokesperson Lt. Col. Eko Daryanto was quoted as saying by local media.
“The headquarters of National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB) is responsible for shooting the Indonesian Military’s aircraft on March 23, 2020. The aircraft was targeted because it had been transporting large number of military and police personnel to Oksibil,” Sebby Sambom, spokesperson for the TPNPB, said in a statement.
On March 20, Sambom claimed that the Indonesian military fired 14 rockets from their helicopters at Opitawak Village, West Papua.
Sila Papare Airfield commander Air Commodore Tri Bowo, however, told The Jakarta Post that the plane was carrying 3 tons of foodstuff and other materials owned by the Pegunungan Bintang regency administration.
Eko said this was not the first shooting to take place in Pegunungan Bintang recently. On March 2, trucks belonging to a state-owned enterprise were shot at by an armed group in Oksop district.