Gunmen fired last Wednesday at vehicles operated by U.S. mining company Freeport in Indonesia’s impoverished Papua province, injuring two guards and a policeman in the latest attack on the world’s largest gold mine, police said.
A few miles (kilometres) away on the same road leading to the mine, a policeman died and an officer and two soldiers were injured in a car accident, national police spokesman Nanan Sukarna said.
There were conflicting reports about the number of dead and injured in the two incidents. Initial reports from witnesses said two people were killed in the shooting, but officials could not confirm those accounts.
Comment from Free West Papua Campaign, 31 July 2009
The recent wave of killings at the Freeport Mine, and the resulting cover-up from the Indonesian authorities over the culprits is yet another example of the grave injustices that have engulfed West Papua over the past 40 years. Whilst all the evidence points to the recent shootings (that left several dead including one Australian mining worker) being the work of Indonesian army operatives (the bullets used in the attacks were army issued), the Indonesian authorities have ignored this and instead used the shootings as as an excuse to launch a further crackdown on the indigneous population.
One has to start wondering whether the shootings were planned as a means of providing an excuse for further military deployment in the region. In the last few days over 1000 Indonesian troops have been dropped in Timika, and a further 1000 in Mulia, with raids being carried out on villages in these region, leading to hundreds of people fleeing into the jungle in fear of their lives.
Independent observers must be sent by the United Nations to investigate these killings, and we are once again calling for a UN peacekeeping
force to be sent to the region. This would have the overwhelming support of the Papuan people who have suffered for too long.
We should not forget that it was only 10 years since the horrors of East Timor filled our screens. Indonesia is committing the same horrors in West Papua now, away from the cameras.