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Guns

23/05/2009

Last night after dinner we were sitting out on the front deck as we do most nights and then we heard an interesting sound in the distance. After a while we were pretty certain it was gunfire out to the west. A lot of gunfire.

Unsure of what was going on the Base Manager called some of the other guys who had taken the car to the supermarket to come back to the house straight away. Meanwhile the gunfire continued.

The guys had still not arrived back in the car when a couple of guys pulled up on a scooter and walked up to the deck and over to the 3 of us still sitting there. As they got closer we soon realised they had AK47’s strung over their shoulders. We were kind of cornered as behind us was the high wall covered in barb-wire that surrounds our compound. The gunmen started talking to us in Indonesian and initially we thought they were asking us if we had guns here.

Soon a couple of our staff came out, a couple of them looked as frightened as we were but our Operations Manager was pretty casual and started talking to them. Eventually they said they were Police (whew!) and they had come around because someone had reported gunfire at our compound. We hadn’t realised anyone had called the cops but the Base Manager had been for a walk down the road and SMSd one of our customer agents who obviously was a bit worried and decided to call the cops.

That sorted we were definitely relived to find out they weren’t going to take us out, would have been nice if they hadn’t waved the machine gun in our general direction and had been wearing a badge or something. But hey this is Papua and things are on a different level, even from the rest of Indonesia.

It is nice to know though that if the Bule scream the Polisi will actually run.

Oh and it turns out we had heard gunfire in the distance, the Army was on exercise much to our surprise. We didn’t expect the Army to train at night seeing you rarely see or hear any military training exercises

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