Gunmen in Papua Target Another Freeport Bus, Five Injured

By webadmin on 09:32 am Aug 17, 2009
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Gunmen fired Sunday at a bus carrying employees of US mining giant
Freeport in eastern Indonesia, injuring five, police and a news report
said, in the latest in a series of attacks near the world’s largest
gold mine that have killed three people.

The official Antara news
agency said the bus was attacked as it transported workers to the mine
in Papua province. It said the five were hurt by broken glass.

Papua
police spokesman Lt. Col. Agus Rianto confirmed the shooting but said
he had no information about injuries. A Freeport spokesman could not
immediately be reached.

Gunmen fired at another bus in a similar attack Wednesday just after it dropped off Freeport employees. No one was hurt.

A
series of ambushes near the mine since July 8 have left three dead.
Police have arrested nine suspects, including two Freeport employees,
who face charges of premeditated murder and illegal weapons possession.The
mine is a source of tension in Papua, a remote and underdeveloped
region that is also home to a low-level insurgency seeking independence
from the government thousands of miles (kilometers) away in the
capital, Jakarta.

It is unclear if the rebels, who have been implicated in attacks in the past, were involved in the latest shootings.

The
company has been regularly targeted by arson and roadside bombs since
production began in the 1970s. It is also the focus of regular protests
by local residents who feel they are not benefiting from the depletion
of Papua’s natural resources.

It is difficult to get accurate
information out of Papua, a remote and highly militarized area that is
off limits to foreign journalists.

AP