Jayapura. An unidentified gunman shot a passing motorcycle taxi driver dead in the restive Papua district of Puncak Jaya on Friday, police said
The ojek driver was gunned down in Wandigobak village, near the Semen River, at around 8:30 in the morning, according to Papua Police spokesman I Gede Sumerta Jaya.
"The incident took place around the Semen river, a location that is believed to be a hiding place for armed groups. The victim was Muhammad Saleh, 43," Sumerta said, adding that the man was originally from Makassar in South Sulawesi.
The victim, he added, was shot at least three times: once on the right side of the chest, once on the left shoulder and once on the lower right rib.
Sumerta said that the police are investigating the shooting but have so far found no information about who the gunman is or what the motive was.
"But it is strongly suspected that the perpetrator is a passenger the victim transported to the location of the incident. After shooting the driver dead, the perpetrator ran away," he explained.
Sumerta added that despite the shooting, people's daily activities in Puncak Jaya appeared to remain unaffected.
The body of the victim was flown to Jayapura through Sentani airport and will later be transported to Makassar.
Meanwhile, an unconfirmed report said that another ojek driver was stabbed in Wamena, located in the neighboring Jayawijaya district. No information about when the stabbing happened or whether the victim survived was given, though.
Papua's highland districts of Puncak Jaya and Jayawijaya are especially prone to violence and shootings mostly directed against soldiers, police officers and migrants. Authorities have tended to blame armed groups such as the the separatist Free Papua Organization (OPM), which has been waging a low-profile resistance since the 1960s.