BY Richard Moorhead, The Western JournalFebruary 16, 2023
1 year ago
 | February 16, 2023
1 year ago

Pilot Taken Hostage by Islanders, Shown Surrounded by Spears, Bows and Arrows

A New Zealander commercial pilot has been taken hostage by a group of militants who demand their province's independence from Indonesia.

Pilot Phillip Mark Mehrtens was taken prisoner by the West Papua Liberation Army as he sought to airlift a group of construction workers out of the unstable Papua province earlier this month, according to SBS World News.

Mehrtens, a resident of Christchurch, was seized by a group of rebels as he sought to pick up 15 construction workers in the Nduga district.

Members of the armed group had threatened the workers, who were constructing a healthcare facility in the remote province.

Nduga district chief Namia Gwijangge expressed his regrets regarding Mehrtens' abduction in a statement.

"Our plan to evacuate the workers angered the rebels, who responded by setting fire to the plane and seizing the pilot."

"We deeply regret this incident."

The militants pose with Mehrtens while holding weapons in one photo -- including rifles, as well as primitive weapons such as spears and bows in another image.

The prisoner is made to gesture next to a man holding a West Papua Liberation Army flag in one photo.

The rebels deliver a message in the presence of Mehrtens in a video.

Mehrtens was made to demand that Indonesia recognize the Papua region as independent in another propaganda video, according to the New York Post.

“Indonesia must recognize Papua is independent," Mehrtens was coerced into stating.

A leader of the group stated his intention to use the hostage as leverage against Indonesia.

“He will be safe with me as long as Indonesia does not use its arms, either from the air or on the ground," Egianus Kogoya said of Mehrtens, according to the Post.

The West Papua Liberation Army is considered a terrorist organization in the eyes of Indonesia's government.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Richard Moorhead, The Western Journal



George Santos' New Campaign Sees a Lack of Financial Support

George Santos has seemingly lost momentum in his political aspirations with a recent campaign launch that garnered no financial backers last month. Federal Election Committee…
12 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

Tensions Escalate As Iran Retaliates Against Israel With Missile Attack

A severe escalation in regional tensions unfolded as Iran retaliated with a barrage of missiles and drones against Israel following a deadly drone strike in…
12 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

The Fashion World Mourns The Passing of Icon Roberto Cavalli

The influential Italian fashion designer Roberto Cavalli has died at 83, leaving behind a legacy of bold designs that redefined fashion standards. Roberto Cavalli, celebrated…
12 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

Manhattan Judge Limits Evidence in High-Profile Trump Trial

Judge Juan Merchan ruled against playing the Access Hollywood tape during Trump's Manhattan trial but allowed a complete transcript to be used. Daily Mail reported…
12 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

Biden Consults Crib Sheet in Meeting Amid Mideast Crisis

President Joe Biden resorted to using a crib sheet scripted with stage directions during discussions with Iraq's Prime Minister in a significant diplomatic meeting. This…
13 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers


We publish the objective news, period. If you want the facts, then sign up below and join our movement for objective news:



    Get news from American Digest in your inbox.

      By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: American Digest, 3000 S. Hulen Street, Ste 124 #1064, Fort Worth, TX, 76109, US, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
      Christian News Alerts is a conservative Christian publication. Share our articles to help spread the word.