Published:  12:30 AM, 15 November 2017

Freeport Indonesia reopens mine access after shootings

Freeport Indonesia reopens mine access after shootings Members of the police Mobile Brigade carry the body of a fallen comrade killed in a shootout with gunmen in Tembagapura, Papua, during his funeral in Bengkulu, Bengkulu province, Indonesia. -Reuters

The Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc has reopened the main supply route to its huge copper mine in Papua, the company said on Monday, after the road was closed on Sunday following a shooting incident in the area.

No one was reported injured when shots were fired at an escort vehicle traveling from the lowlands, but Freeport canceled all convoys along the road on Sunday afternoon while the security situation was assessed. Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said the temporary closure has had no impact on production at the world's second-biggest copper mine.

The incident was the latest in a string of shootings near the mine since mid-August that have killed one police officer and wounded at least six others. Authorities have declared a state of emergency and stepped up security in the area around Tembagapura village, about 10 km from the mine.

The separatist West Papua National Liberation Army (TPN-OPM), a group linked to the Free Papua Movement, has said it is at war with police, military and Freeport. It was not immediately clear if TPN-OPM was behind Sunday's shooting.

Police in Indonesia's eastern-most province on Sunday said they would issue a notice to an "armed criminal group" that authorities say are occupying villages in Mimika regency, where Freeport's Grasberg mine is located, and demand that rebels surrender their weapons and turn themselves in.Timika Police chief Victor Mackbon said they

-Reuters, Jakarta


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