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JAYAPURA, Irian Jaya (June 15, 2001 - The Jakarta Post/Joyo Indonesian News/TAPOL)---The separatist rebel group led by Daniel Awom has been blamed for the armed attack in Manokwari that left five Mobile Brigade police officers and one civilian dead on Wednesday.

A local military source said on Thursday that the group had joined the armed rebel movement in the mineral-rich province since the fall of the New Order regime under President Suharto in mid-1998.

He said the group was also responsible for an attack on employees of local forest concession holder CV Patika Papua in March, which killed three people.

Both the provincial police chief, Insp. Gen. Mangku Pastika, and the local military commander, Maj. Gen. Mahidin Simbolon, have ordered their troops to be on alert following the latest onslaught, which took place in the village of Wondiwoi, Wasiur district of Manokwari regency.

"We have to remain vigilant in case the group mounts guerrilla attacks," Mahidin said.

Mangku said the hunt for the separatist group, reportedly made up of eight people, has now been concentrated in the forest and along the coastline near the village.

First Brig. Ibrahim, First Brig. Lando Pakpahan, First Brig. Hasbur, Second Brig. Firmansyah H, Second Brig. Taufik Hidayat and the civilian who was later identified as Yadi, an employee of CV Patika Papua, died of gunshot wounds in the predawn raid.

The attackers seized an SS-1 rifle and a Czech-made automatic rifle, along with about 500 bullets from the slain police officers, who were asleep when the raid was launched.

Provincial police spokesman Adj. Comr. Zulkifli AR said that the bodies of the victims would be flown to their respective hometowns for burial on Friday.

Paul Barber TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign 25 Plovers Way, Alton Hampshire GU34 2JJ Tel/Fax: 01420 80153 Email:  Internet: 

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