Shooting near mine in Indonesia wounds at least six

Monday, January 25, 2010

At least six people have been wounded after a shooting ambush near a gold and copper mine in Indonesia earlier today, according to police reports.

The incident occurred at the US company Freeport McMoRan's mine in the Papua region of the country. A convoy of police cruisers and buses was reportedly shot at by gunmen while en route to the coastal city of Timika from the Grasberg mine.

"We're combing the area of the incident to gather evidence [...] we're still investigating who the perpetrators are," said senior police officer Mada Aksanta to media.

Agus Riyanto, a Papua province police spokesman, told reporters that one of the injured persons was a US national and that he, as well as two of the injured policemen, were being flown to a hospital in the capital Jakarta for treatment. "The national police and the military are still chasing [the gunmen]," Riyanto said.

A spokesman for Freeport, Mindo Pangaribuan, contradicted the authorities' reports, claiming that nine people were injured in the shooting. However, he didn't say how many were Freeport employees. "Three required hospitalisation for treatment of injuries that are not life-threatening, and the other six were released after treatment of minor injuries," he commented in an email, noting that operations at the Grasberg mine wasn't affected.