16 Jul 2009

Police in Papua begin an operation to find perpetrators of attacks on mine

11:26 am on 16 July 2009

Police in Indonesia's Papua region are preparing a special operation to capture the perpetrators of a series of armed attacks on US gold and copper mining giant PT Freeport Indonesia in Papua.

A police spokesman says the operation will start by combing 29 districts surrounding the Papua regency of Mimika, home to Freeport's Grassberg mine.

The National Police has fielded over 60 reinforcement personnel from the Mobile Brigade elite force and the counter-terror squad will back up the provincial police.

The police spokesman said officials remain in the dark about the group behind the attacks, which have left three people dead and two others injured.

Details of the operation will remain a secret, but police say it will be different from police operations in the past, which observers said were prone to human rights violations particularly in a separatism-plagued province like Papua.