Jayapura, Papua. Indonesian Air Force personnel in the early hours of Friday accidentally shot two police officers at Jayapura's Sentani Airport while trying to disband a group of intruders.
Papua Police Chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said the incident happened at around 2.30 a.m. local time, when a group of people, reportedly under the influence of alcohol, was found damaging facilities at the airport.
The two police officers arrived to intervene, but then suddenly members of the Air Force's Special Forces unit (Paskhas) opened fire, injuring the police officers.
First Brig. Riqzan and First Brig. Wahidin, who were wearing their uniforms, had reportedly tried to let the Air Force troops know they were police officers, but to no avail.
Riqzan was shot in his left thigh while Wahidin was shot in the back of his head. Both men survived the shooting, and were taken to the police hospital in Jayapura, Paulus said.
“The Paskhas [troops] saw the incident and they tried to stop it. It was very dark because it was late at night. We only found out that police officers were shot when it was over,” the commander of the Jayapura Air Base at Sentani Airport, Col. Purwoko Aji, said on Friday.
In a press conference on Friday, police chief Paulus confirmed that the shooting was an accident and that he would leave the investigation to the Air Force.
The Indonesian Military (TNI) and the police have in recent years had a series of violent -- and sometimes deadly -- confrontations in various parts of the country, often as part of turf wars.