Bodies of victims found in Papua (Source: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) - Indonesian security forces have retrieved the bodies of 16 people in the aftermath of a massacre by suspected separatist rebels targeting a construction worker group in Nduga district, Papua province.

Local police said that along with the 16 found bodies, they also rescued three survivors. The forces are working hard to seek people detained by the rebels.

The local government of Papua has mobilised additional forces and vehicles, including helicopters, to join the search.

Earlier on December 2-3, a group of gunmen attacked a bridge construction site in a mountainous village in Nduga district, killing workers there. Local media held that the group may be members of the separatist movement led by the Free Papua Movement.

This is the bloodiest attack in Papua since the separatists carried out the rebelling movement nearly 50 years ago.

Indonesia controlled Papua from 1963 after the province, located in the western half of New Guinea island, declared its independence from the Dutch colonialists in 1961. Later, Papua was incorporated into the Southeast Asian country following a 1969 UN-sanctioned plebiscite.-VNA