Unidentified gunmen attack Freeport car, injure one
Nethy Dharma Somba
The Jakarta Post
Unidentified gunmen fired at a patrol car owned by PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) in Tembagapura, Mimika regency, Papua, on Tuesday morning, injuring one employee.
The vehicle, which was on its way from Mile 68 to Mile 72, was entering an area near a helipad at Mile 69 at 8:20 a.m. local time when unknown assailants fired three shots at it, said Papua Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. AM Kamal.
One of the bullets went through the car door and injured Freeport Indonesia employee Raden Totok Soedewo in the thigh. Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) personnel on board the vehicle began to open fire, but the attackers fled the scene.
"The victim was immediately brought to Tembagapura Hospital while our personnel stood guard at Mile 69," Kamal said.
At least 11 shootings have occurred in the area around Freeport Indonesia’s mine since Oct. 22, when Brimob officer First. Brig. Berry Pramana Putra was killed in a shootout with unidentified gunmen on Utikini Bridge.
Police subsequently issued its highest security alert in response to the escalating attacks, particularly due to concerns that they might affect preparations for the upcoming elections for governor and seven regents in Papua.
Papua Regional Council speaker Yunus Wonda urged all stakeholders to restore security in the area “through persuasive actions.”
“Don't let such conflicts put civilians at risk,” he said.
Some 1,300 residents of two villages in Tembagapura have also been held against their will for the past two weeks by an unidentified armed group. (ipa)
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