Indonesian Security Police Look For Captured New Zealand Pilot Mehrtens

Indonesian security authorities are looking for a New Zealand pilot named Mehrtens who was held captive by separatist insurgents in unrest-plagued Papua state.

What Happened In Indonesia?

According to Brig. Gen. J.O. Sembiring, the regional military commander, the joint team of soldiers and police searching for the pilot, Philip Mark Mehrtens, also succeeded in saving 15 construction workers who were constructing a health centre in the remote Nduga district’s Paro village after separatist rebels threatened to kill them.

The West Papua Liberation Army, the armed wing of the Free Papua Organization, stormed Mehrtens’ single-engine plane as it touched down at Paro’s tiny airport early on Tuesday, and took him hostage. Mehrtens is from Christchurch.


Source: Us weekly

Five people and approximately 450 kilogrammes (990 pounds) of supplies from the mining village of Timika in the adjoining Mimika area were being transported on board the aircraft, which was being flown by Indonesian airline Susi Air.

In a statement on Tuesday, Sambom said, “We will never release the pilot we are keeping prisoner unless Indonesia recognises our sovereignty and frees Papua from Indonesian colonisation.

In the poor Papua area, a former Dutch colony in the western section of New Guinea that is ethnically and culturally distinct from much of Indonesia, conflicts between indigenous Papuans and Indonesian security forces are frequent.

Regarding The Pilot

According to National Officers Chief Listyo Sigit Prabowo, police and military were sent to find and save the pilot.

The embassy of New Zealand in Jakarta, according to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on Wednesday, is in charge of organising the country’s reaction to the hostage-taking.

The 15 construction workers who were rescued by the security forces on Wednesday were hired to build the Paro health centre from other Indonesian islands. Since Saturday, they have sought refuge in a priest’s home in the village after being threatened with death by a group of armed rebels, according to Brig. Gen. Juinta Omboh Sembiring, the regional military commander.

Ten traders from other Indonesian islands as well as a native Papuan were killed in July of last year by gunmen thought to be separatist rebels. Later, Sambom claimed rebels were responsible for the murder and decried the victims as government spies.


1. Who is Mehrtens

A. He is a New Zealand pilot

2. What is his profession?

A. Pilot

3. What is Mehrtens Nationality?

A. New Zealand

4. How old is Mehrtens?

A. Unknown

5. What Happened to Mehrtens?

A. He is taken hostage by separatist rebels

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