Gunmen shot and killed three miners in the latest attack near the world’s largest gold mine in eastern Indonesia, officials said yesterday. Attackers also fired on a patrol car sent to investigate, wounding a soldier and a civilian guard.
Four Indonesian miners who worked for the US company Freeport were hit by unknown gunmen as their car traveled along a road to the mining complex on Friday in restive Papua Province, local deputy police chief Major Mada Indra Laksanta said.
The attackers also set the car ablaze, he said.
Hours later, gunshots were fired at a patrol car trying to approach the burned car. A soldier and a civilian guard were wounded.
Police found the bodies of three miners near their car, they are still searching for the fourth miner, who is unaccounted for.
Friday’s shooting came less than a week after Indonesian security forces fired on striking workers at the one of world’s largest gold and copper mines, killing one and injuring more than a dozen other people.
However, police declined to link Friday’s shooting with the workers’ strike that started on Sept. 15.
The strikers are demanding that their pay, which ranges from US$2.10 to US$3.50 per hour, be increased to between US$17.50 and US$43 per hour.
“We do not want to speculate before the investigation is complete,” Laksanta said, adding that police and soldiers are searching for the attackers.
Freeport’s Indonesian spokesman Ramdani Sirait said that the company was deeply saddened by the loss of lives of its workers in recent incidents and continues to cooperate with the police investigation.
The attack was the latest in a string of ambushes on the road to the mine that have claimed eight lives since July 2009, including an Australian technician.
Early last year, a convoy from the mine was ambushed and an American, four policemen and two civilians wounded.
The mine, run by a subsidiary of the US-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc, has been repeatedly targeted with arson, roadside bombs and blockades since production began in the impoverished province of Papua in the 1970s.
The region also has a low-level insurgency that seeks independence from the Indonesian government.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big