16 Jul 2009

Gunbattle near Papua mine

7:47 am on 16 July 2009

Indonesian police have been involved in a gun battle near a gold mine in Papua province, which has been the scene of several recent attacks.

Two officers are reported to have been shot near the US-owned Freeport mine, one of them critically.

The BBC reports it was the fifth armed ambush in the area in as many days. At least three people have been killed so far.

The rebel Free Papua movement has denied any involvement, and police said the bullets used were military-issue.

Like the other incidents, Wednesday's ambush happened along a road between the town of Timika and the huge gold and copper mine, which employs 20,000 people.

Freeport has now ordered its employees to stay off the road, preventing hundreds of workers from returning to the mine.