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Three dead in Papua province plane crash

A small cargo aircraft has crashed in poor weather in Indonesia’s rebellious Papua province, killing all three people on board, security authorities say.

The wreckage of the Twin Otter 300 operated by Rimbun Air was found in the jungle of Intan Jaya district following an aerial search, said provincial police spokesman Ahmad Musthofa Kamal.

The three people on board including the pilot and a technician were killed, he said.

“Search teams will retrieve the remains tonight, he said.

The aircraft was carrying food supplies and construction materials from Nabire district to Sugapa airport in Intan Jaya when it encountered poor weather, officials said.

A local military commander, Major Edi Dipramono, said a rebel attack was unlikely to have caused the crash.

“I can confirm that it wasn’t shot by the OPM,” he said, referring to the separatist Free Papua Movement.

Papua has been the scene of a low-level separatist insurgency since the 1960s, but violence has intensified in recent years.

Papuan rebels have in the past claimed to have shot down military aircraft.

Jungle-covered Papua relies on air transport in the absence of substantial road networks and accidents involving light aircraft are common.

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