Subject: E. Nusa Tenggara Police Seize 691 Firearms

The Jakarta Post

Thursday, March 4, 2004

E. Nusa Tenggara Police Seize 691 Firearms

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) provincial police have seized 691 both home-made rifles and guns since early this year from local residents on the archipelagic province during an operation code-named Cipta Kondisi 2004.

The seized items were displayed on Wednesday by NTT police chief Brig. Gen. Edward Aritonang to National Police chief Gen. Da'i Bachtiar, after the latter led the General Elections security preparations roll-call at the NTT police headquarters.

Spokesman for the NTT police, Comr. I Wayan Dana explained that the firearms would be destroyed, similarly done by the NTT police three years ago when other firearms were destroyed in Kupang. At that time, at least 5,000 standard and home-made firearms were destroyed by the NTT police.

Some of the weapons were seized from pro-Indonesian militias and some others were handed over voluntarily by them to the NTT police following the Sept. 6, 2000 tragedy in Atambua.

In the incident, three humanitarian workers from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were killed by East Timor's pro-integration militias.

Wayan Dana explained that from the 691 weapons seized by the police, 284 of them were confiscated in the North Central Timor regency bordering directly with the Oecusse enclave in East Timor.

From Belu regency, only five firearms were seized, Kupang regency 14 firearms, South Central Timor 72 firearms, West Sumba 15, while the remaining 300 home-made firearms were from operations conducted by the NTT police.

"We would destroy the confiscated firearms like we did in 2001," said Wayan, adding, the 691 firearms consisted of 631 home-made rifles and 60 home-made pistols.

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