Freeport Minibus Fired Upon in Mimika
Mimika, Papua. Another vehicle owned by mining giant Freeport Indonesia was fired on by unknown assailants while traveling along the dangerous Jalan Tanggul Timur road near Timika on Tuesday.
The minibus LWB was heading to Kampung Nayaro when a group of about 10 people shot at the vehicle, carrying five military members and a driver named Rustamil Dalle. No one was hurt or killed in the attack.
“We’re still investigating it,” Comr. Albertus Andreana of the Mimika Police told Antara news agency on Tuesday, adding that the car would be taken to the Mimika Police station as evidence.
Albertus said the military members had brought food to their colleagues assigned to secure the Kampung Nayaro area. Upon returning, shots were fired at the minibus, prompting the military personnel to return fire.
He said police had not returned to the scene of the crime for further investigation, given the insecure nature of Tanggul Timur at present. Albertus said police would conduct forensics tests on the car.
The attack was the second to take place on the same road in less than a week. On Friday, another Freeport vehicle with military members on board was also attacked by unknown assailants. One military member was lightly injured in that attack.
Prior to the latest incidents, the last shooting along the road came on Aug. 16 when a Freeport vehicle carrying three police officers deployed to help secure Freeport’s Grasberg mine was attacked at the Mile 42 mark. No one was injured in that attack.
On July 10, a soldier was killed after snipers fired on the armored personnel carrier that he was in at Mile 43. Five accompanying soldiers sustained minor injuries.
On June 24, unknown attackers shot and wounded a police officer patrolling along the Mile 41 mark. The officer had been patrolling on foot when he was jumped by three men who tried to take his gun. The assailants managed to shoot him before fleeing when another officer rushed to the scene.
On April 14, a convoy of Freeport cars was shot at twice, at Mile 26 and at Mile 36, despite having a police escort. No one was injured in the shootings.
Two Papuans working for the mining behemoth were injured in a shooting along the road on Feb. 9, two days after a police officer was shot dead in the same area.