17 Jul 2009

Foreign countries blamed for latest ambushes at Freeport

10:45 am on 17 July 2009

Foreign Minister Juwono Sudarsono of Indonesia says foreign countries could be behind fatal ambushes near the US-owned Freeport gold and copper mine in the remote West Papua province.

So far three people including an Australian national have been killed in the past week and in recent days police have again come under fire.

The Minister says the attacks by unidentified gunmen could be an effort by foreign competitors to close the mine down.

Despite Mr Sudarsono's comments there is strong evidence the Indonesian military were involved in the shootings of Australian miner Drew Grant and two police officers.

The pathologist who examined Mr Grant's body in Jakarta, Dr Mun'mum Idries, says the bullets that killed him were removed by persons unknown and that there was more than one assilant

In 2002, two American teachers from the mine were killed in very similar circumstances.