Makassar: Authorities have evacuated the bodies of 16 construction workers who were killed by an armed criminal group in the Papuan region of Nduga.
"14 of them were brought to Makassar. The other two were brought to Jakarta," Hasanuddin Air Base spokesperson Major Sus Yenny Purwani said here on Friday.
The Air Force Hercules plane departed from Timika, Papua at around 15:00 Eastern Indonesia Time (WIT). The military plane landed at Makassar, South Sulawesi at 18:06 Central Indonesia Time (WITA).
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The bodies were received by National Armed Forces (TNI) commander Chief Air Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto as well as National Police deputy chief Commissioner General Ari Dono Sukmanto. The air base was also attended by local officals from Makasar and South Sulawesi governments.
Last week, an armed criminal group attacked a bridge construction project in Nduga regency. According to the latest data from authorities, the attack killed at least 16 construction workers and injured few others.
Developed by construction company PT Istaka Karya, the projet is part of the 3985-kilometer-long Trans-Papua highway. Located near Yigi and Aurak rivers, the bridge is built to improve transportation infrastructure in Nduga regency.
"We will complete the Trans-Papua highway. We will complete the project," President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo told reporters earlier this week.
The Trans-Papua highway is one of Jokowi's mega projets. It is expected to reduce economic discrepancies between Papuan provinces and other regions.