Incident Summary:

12/01/2018: Assailants abducted 25 Istaka Karya construction workers from a camp in Nduga, Papua, Indonesia. The hostages were marched to the Karunggame River, where they were kept overnight. The following day, December 2, 2018, they were marched to Puncak Kabo hill, where the assailants opened fire on the workers. At least 14 workers were killed while the other 11 hostages pretended to be dead. Upon attempting an escape, the 11 victims were spotted and the assailants caught and slit the throats of five more hostages. Four of the remaining hostages made it safely to a TNI outpost while the other two hostages were reported missing. The Free Papua Movement (OPM-Organisasi Papua Merdeka) claimed responsibility for the attack.




Southeast Asia

region/u.s. state:


Nduga district

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Istaka Karya
Specific Description Employees
Nationality of Target Indonesia
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 25
US Hostages 0
Outcome Combination
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Unknown Gun Type
Melee Knife or Other Sharp Object
Weapon Details
Firearms, knives, spears, and bows and arrows were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Free Papua Movement (OPM-Organisasi Papua Merdeka) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Posted to website, blog, etc.)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 50
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 19 Fatalities / 2 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 19
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 2
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"'Kill Or Be Killed' Says Rebel Group Behind Papua Massacre," AFP (World Service), December 7, 2018.
"Papua mass killing: What happened," Jakarta Post, December 7, 2018.
"Soldier Killed in Separatist Attack in Indonesia," Latin American Herald Tribune, December 6, 2018.