The Indonesian police and military are gearing up to rescue an airline pilot of Susi Air with five passengers in the province of Highland Papua, who have reportedly been kidnapped by armed separatists in the region.
The pilot, a New Zealand citizen, was piloting a plane carrying five local passengers early Tuesday from an airport in Mimika district in Central Papua to an airport in Nduga district in Highland Papua.
When it landed, the plane was attacked and set on fire by militants, Xinhua news agency reported.
The military wing of Free Papua Movement has claimed responsibility for burning the plane and kidnapping the pilot and the passengers.
The incident had also been confirmed by Indonesian officials and the airline company. Authorities have reportedly assigned police and military personnel in the province to locate the hostages.