Armed gang attacks plane, one dies, aircraft crashes into building


Armed gang attacks plane, one dies, jet crashes into buildingStock Photo: Papua

A small passenger plane has been attacked by gunmen in Papua, leaving one dead and four injured.

The Twin Otter plane, run by domestic carrier Trigana Air, was carrying eight passengers at the time.

Local police spokesman Johannes Nugroho told The Australian: "One person was killed and four were wounded in the plane incident, including the two pilots, a female passenger and a four-year-old boy.

"I think there were only one or two shots and the other casualties were from shrapnel."

According to AFP, the pilot was hurt in the leg and the co-pilot in the hand.

District official Agus Fakauban told the news source: "The aircraft had reached the end of the airstrip and was taxiing to park when a group of armed men shot at the aircraft from the nearby hills.

"The pilots lost control after getting hurt, and the aircraft ran into an airport building."

Co-ordinating security minister Djoko Suyanto said the perpetrators fled but that they were searching for them.

He told AFP that an autopsy was being carried out on the passenger that was killed to see what kind of arms were used in a bid to track them down.

Gun attacks are reportedly common in the Papua region in Indonesia's extreme east, where separatist groups have fought a long battle against low-level insurgency for the mostly ethnic Melanesian population.

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