Hanoi (VNA) – As many as 31 construction workers were killed in an attack in the Indonesian province of Papua on December 2-3, according to Indonesian police.

On December 2, a group of gunmen stormed a government bridge construction area in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district, killing 24 workers.

Eight other workers fled to a nearby house, but an armed group arrived the following day and killed all but one. The eighth victim managed to escape and remains unaccounted for.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said this is the worst attack launched by an armed criminal group in recent times, adding that security forces were trying to recover all 31 bodies.

Indonesian Minister of Public Works and People’s Housing Basuki Hadimuljono said the victims were among dozens of construction workers from Sulawesi island who have been employed by state-owned construction company PT Istaka Karya to build bridges along a 278km road connecting the cities of Wamena and Agat.

The largest province in Indonesia, Papua has been home to separatist groups for many years. Recently, many attacks by local armed groups have taken place as the Indonesian Government is working on development projects. –VNA