Papuan fighters threaten to shoot NZ pilot hostage without independence talks

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Fighters successful Indonesia's Papua portion person threatened to sprout a New Zealand aviator they took hostage successful February if independency talks are not launched.

The request comes successful a caller video released by the radical connected Friday, which shows an emaciated Phillip Mehrtens holding the banned Morning Star emblem - a awesome of Papuan independence.

Surrounded by Papuan fighters brandishing rifles, Mr Mehrtens said they privation different countries to beryllium portion of talks connected the region's bid for independency from Indonesia.

He said: "If it does not hap wrong 2 months, past they accidental they volition sprout me."

The Indonesian overseas ministry and the New Zealand embassy successful Jakarta person not commented connected the video.

Indonesian authorities person antecedently said they are trying to negociate the pilot's release, but they person struggled to entree the portion of the state wherever helium is being held.

The West Papua Liberation Army fighters captured Mr Merhtens aft helium landed a commercialized plane successful the mountainous portion of Nduga.

He had been helping to evacuate 15 operation workers who had been threatened with decease portion gathering a wellness centre successful the distant district.

A man, identified arsenic  Philip Mehrtens, the New Zealand aviator  who is said to beryllium  held hostage by a pro-independence group, stands among the separatist fighters successful  Indonesia's Papua region

Image: Philip Mehrtens was taken hostage successful February. Pic: AP

The passengers were released due to the fact that they were Papuans, according to rebel spokesperson Sebby Sambom.

But Mr Merhtens, who is from Christchurch and works for Indonesian steadfast Susi Air, was taken.

Separatists successful Papua - an impoverished but resource-rich country successful the acold eastbound of the state sharing a borderline with Papua New Guinea - often judge outsiders are authorities spies

Papua became portion of Indonesia successful a arguable 1969 ballot and determination has been an insurgency ever since, with predominant unit betwixt indigenous radical and information forces.

In much caller years, the fighters person been capable to entree amended weapons, expanding the fig of clashes.

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