The Jakarta Post
Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Yotje Mende said a joint security team of National Police (Polri) and Indonesian Military (TNI) personnel had removed miners working in illegal gold mining operations along the Kabul river near Utikini village in Tembagapura, Mimika, Papua.
He said around 1,000 illegal miners had been removed from gold mining operations along the Kabul river basin area and sent back to their homes.
'As many as 51 security posts have been set up in illegal gold mining areas along the Kabul river basin so that they will not return. This is for the sake of their own safety because the areas are prone to landslides,' said Mende in Jayapura on Wednesday.
He went on to say that illegal gold miners in Utikini village had become an extortion target for armed civilian groups.
'The illegal gold miners were not aware that they had become financial sources for the armed civilian groups, which had regularly visited them and asked them to give money and food,' said Mende.
'This was why we decided to remove the illegal gold miners, hoping that this would cut the chain of money and food for the armed civilian groups in the area,' he went on.
Two Mobile Brigade personnel from South Sumatra ' Second Brig. Ryan Hariansah, 22, and First Brig. Muhammad Andriadi, 22 ' were killed in an armed attack allegedly perpetrated by the armed civilian group led by Ayub Waker in Utikini village, Tembagapura, on Jan. 1. A Freeport Indonesia security officer, Suko Miartono, 33, was also killed in the incident. (ebf)(+++)
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