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 Australian killed near Papua mine

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BerichtOnderwerp: Australian killed near Papua mine   Australian killed near Papua mine Icon_minitimeza 11 jul 2009 - 10:28

Australian killed near Papua mine

An Australian man has been shot dead near the Grasberg mine in Indonesia's restive Papua province, say reports.

The man is reported to have been an engineer working at the gold and copper mine - one of the world's largest - owned by US giant Freeport McMoRan.

The mine has been a frequent source of unrest over its impact on the environment and the proportion of its revenues going to local people.

In 2002, two American teachers were shot dead in an ambush at the facility.

In a statement, Freeport McMoRan said a shot had been fired at one of its vehicles in the early hours of the morning.

The man who was killed had been sitting in the back of the vehicle and none of the other passengers was injured, said the company.

Police chief Bagus Ekodanto told Reuters the shooting had happened on the road between Tembagapura and Timika.

It is not clear who carried out the attack.

The resource-rich Papua province has been embroiled in separatist insurgency since the end of Dutch colonial rule in 1962.

Supporters of Papua independence see the mine - which has some of the world's largest recoverable copper and gold reserves - as a symbol of unfair rule from Jakarta.

BBC News
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BerichtOnderwerp: Re: Australian killed near Papua mine   Australian killed near Papua mine Icon_minitimedi 14 jul 2009 - 9:09

Australian police assist Papua murder probe
Posted Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:09pm AEST
Updated Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:34pm AEST

Related Story: 'Five shots' killed Australian miner The Federal Government says two Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers have arrived in Papua to help investigate the murder of Australian mine worker Drew Grant.

Indonesian police say the 29-year-old Victorian was shot five times while travelling in a car. No-one else in the car was hurt.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says the Indonesian National Police have assured him the shooting is being treated as a high-priority case.

"The Indonesian National Police have requested the Australian Federal Police provide officers to Papua to assist in the investigation," he told reporters.

"As a consequence of that, early this morning two Australian federal officers arrived in Papua province from Jakarta to assist."

An autopsy was performed at a Central Jakarta Hospital last night.

Papua police say the ambush was pre-planned by gunmen using military-issue weapons.

"The shooting was pre-planned. [It's] clear they [the attackers] were using weapons belonging to the police or the military," Papua police chief Bagus Ekodanto said.

The attack occurred in Freeport's vast concession area, which includes the massive Grasberg gold and copper mine.

Police are still investigating the number of attackers involved and their motive for killing, Mr Ekodanto said.

"He [Grant] was shot five times in the neck, chest and stomach from a distance of 25 metres. We're still investigating the case. We don't want to be hasty and say they are from separatist groups," he added.

Freeport Indonesia is the largest single taxpayer to the Indonesian government.

Grasberg sits on the world's largest gold and copper reserves on the far eastern extreme of the Indonesian archipelago.

Pro-independence militants have waged a long-running insurgency against Indonesian rule in Papua, which is off-limits to foreign journalists without special permission.

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BerichtOnderwerp: Re: Australian killed near Papua mine   Australian killed near Papua mine Icon_minitimedi 14 jul 2009 - 9:12

Doubts emerge over Papua killings

The rebel Free Papua Movement has denied any role in the shooting of an Australian at a mine in Indonesia.

Drew Grant was killed near the huge Freeport gold and copper mine, where he worked, in Papua province on Saturday.

Autopsies have suggested evidence may have been altered, and police said that the bullets used were military issue.

The revelations have raised doubts about official accusations that the separatist rebels were to blame for this and two other fatal shootings.

A security guard was killed on Sunday, and the body of a policeman found on Monday, near the mine operated by an Indonesian subsidiary of the US company Freeport McMoran, in the Timika district of Papua.

The Timika commander of the Free Papua Movement, Kelly Kwalik, told the Jakarta Globe newspaper that his fighters neither had the desire, nor the equipment, for the attacks.

"We know the OPM [Free Papua Movement] has been labelled as a troublemaker in Papua for four decades. But we also know that they have no guns and fight for their struggle peacefully," he said.

'Possible manipulation'

Mr Grant was shot dead by unknown attackers on Saturday while he was travelling in a Freeport vehicle at 5.30am in the morning.

Freeport's Indonesian spokesman Mindo Pangaribuan said security had been tightened in the area after the incident, and that the mine's operations have not been disturbed.

Police have confirmed that high-powered weapons issued to military and police were used in the shooting.

Analysts have noted that Freeport is a lucrative posting for Indonesian security forces - they are paid by the mining company and also earn large amounts of money by charging money to local illegal miners.

Some analysts have suggested that the military could loosen its powerful grip on the region following the re-election of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Abdul Munim Idris, the doctor who conducted the autopsy on Mr Grant's body, said that fragments of bullets were found in the body, but no whole bullets.

Asked whether there was any evidence the body had been manipulated, he said: "It's possible," the radio station reported.

Mr Grant's body has now been returned to Australia.

Australian Federal Police are in Indonesia assisting in the investigation of Mr Grant's murder.

Separatist sentiment in Papua has been focused in recent years on calls for a referendum - similar to that held in East Timor in 1999 - to allow Papuans to decide if their resource-rich region should stay in Indonesia.

The former Dutch colony was absorbed into Indonesia in 1969 after a vote by selected elders widely seen as flawed.

The weekend's shooting were the first fatal killings of Freeport employees since the killing of two American workers at the firm in 2002.

The incident turned into a diplomatic row between Indonesia and the US, and eventually a Papuan separatist leader was convicted for the attack.

BBC News
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 Soortgelijke onderwerpen
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» Australian Arrested on Accusations of Planning 'Hostile Activities' in Papua
» Two Police Officers Killed in Papua
» Brimob officer killed in Papua

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