17 Jul 2009

Papua Council wants independent probe of Freeport killings

11:39 am on 17 July 2009

The Papua Council Presidium has called on the central government to form an independent team to investigate a series of shootings along the road to Freeport's mine in the Indonesian province.

The Council's secretary general says the team could include people from various quarters, including the government, security authorities and community representatives.

Thaha Alhamid told the Antara news agency that it's important to find out what is going on.

Five shooting incidents occurred in the past few days along the road between the town of Timika and Freeport's Grasberg mine, killing three people.

Authorities initially named the OPM leader Kelly Kwalik as the suspected mastermind of the attacks, but official statements now refer to an armed group of professional marksmen.

The Indonesia's defence minister is claiming foreign countries could have been behind the violence.