MAC: Mines and Communities

Six wounded in ambush near US mine in Indonesia

Published by MAC on 2010-01-31
Source: AFP, Jakarta Post

Last December, the legendary leader of West Papua's self-determination movement, OPM, was murdered by police who accused him of having master-minded recent attacks on employees of Freeport-Rio Tinto's Grasberg copper-gold mine. See:

Notwithstanding the killing of Kelly Kwalik, another three mineworkers and three policemen were wounded last month in an ambush on their convoy.

So far the Indonesian authorities have not named any suspects.

Six wounded in ambush near US mine in Indonesia


24 January 2010

TIMIKA, Indonesia - Six people were wounded Sunday in a shooting ambush near US company Freeport McMoRan's massive gold and copper mine in Indonesia's eastern Papua region, police said.

Three policemen and three mine workers were hurt in the ambush on a convoy of buses and land cruisers heading to the coastal city of Timika from the Grasberg mine, senior police officer Mada Aksanta told reporters..

"We're combing the area of the incident to gather evidence... we're still investigating who the perpetrators are," Aksanta said.

One of the employees was a foreigner, James Lockhart, who received a wound near his left eye from flying glass, he added.

Papua province police spokesman Agus Riyanto told reporters Lockhart is a US national and he, as well as two injured policemen, are being flown to a hospital in Jakarta for treatment.

"The national police and the military are still chasing (the shooters)," he added.

The attack is the latest in a string of mysterious ambushes on the road linking the mine with Timika.

Australian mine technician Drew Grant was killed in an attack on July 11 last year, while a Freeport security guard and a policeman were killed the following day.

The Freeport mine sits on some of the world's richest gold reserves and the US company's local subsidiary is the largest single taxpayer to the Indonesian government.

Papua, a resource-rich region on the western end of New Guinea island, has been the site of a low-level separatist insurgency since its incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.

Injured Freeport employee flown to Jakarta

Markus Makur, The Jakarta Post

24 January 2010

Mimika, Papua - An American employee of US-based gold miner PT Freeport Indonesia was airlifted to Jakarta from Papua due to an injury following an attack on a convoy of the company's vehicles on Sunday morning.

The employee, James Lockhart, wounded his left eye from broken glasses when a group of unidentified people opened fire at Mile 60 of the access to the company's gold mine in Mimika regency.

Spokesman for the Papua police Sr. Comr. Agus Rianto said two Mobile Brigade police officers were also flown to Jakarta due to their injuries.

"They [the officers] were admitted to the police hospital in Kramat Jati in Jakarta at about 10 a.m.," Agus said.

A total of seven (not six as reported earlier) people were wounded in the shooting incident, including a child of a Freeport local employee.

It was the first attack after a few months of peace. A series of attacks on the company employees last year killed three people.

Only a few days ago Papua police chief Insp. Gen. Bekto Suprapto told visiting American diplomats of improving security conditions in the Freeport operational area. The diplomats also visited Freeport during their Papuan outing.

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