13 Jul 2009

Third killing reported near Indonesian mine

9:54 pm on 13 July 2009

An Indonesia policeman who fled an ambush near the Grasberg mine, operated by the American company Freeport McMoRan in the province of Papua, has been found dead. It brings the death toll from a string of attacks to three.

Police say his body was found 20 kilometres from the site where a 29-year-old Australian technician who worked for the mining company was killed on Saturday and a Freeport guard was killed in a fire fight on Sunday.

The BBC reports the security guard was shot dead outside the Grasberg mine and another five people were injured. Police said suspected separatist militants had opened fire on officers investigating the first attack, and police returned the fire.

The huge Grasberg mine is a source of friction with local people, who have complained about its environmental impact and their share of its revenue.

Melbourne man Drew Grant, 29, was shot five times on Saturday as he travelled in a car with four others on a road between Tembagapura and Timika. Police say it was a planned ambush by gunmen armed with military-issue weapons.

Two officers from the Australian Federal Police have joined Indonesian authorities investigating the attacks.