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32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say

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JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.

Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.

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“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.

Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.

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Massive fire guts property worth millions in Itahari

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ITAHARI- Goods, raw materials and equipments worth over Rs 20 million were gutted when a fire broke out at the Laxmi Foam Industry at Khanar of Itahari Sub-metropolitan City-10 in Sunsari district this morning.

It is said the fire suddenly broke out from the warehouse area of the industry where the ready-made goods are stored. Police have speculated that the fire started at 4 am when the industry had already closed and there were no workers inside.

The industry is owned by Bhanu Tibadewala. According the Shankar Thakur, the manager at the industry, the raw materials of doormat and important machinery at the industry have also been damaged in the inferno.

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Nepal Army, the Armed Police Force and the Nepal Police personnel as well as the Itahari fire brigade made attempts to douse the fire after some time it started.

Fire trucks from Dharan, Inaruwa, Biratnagar, Duhabi and Sundarharaincha were immediately called into service thereby bringing the huge inferno under control and preventing further damage, said Shiva Kumar Shrestha, Deputy Superintendent of Police at the Area Police Office Itahari.

He said the cause of the fire is not yet ascertained and the extent of damage is being assessed.

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