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Two wounded in ambush near Indonesia mine: police

Two men were wounded on Tuesday in the latest shooting ambush near US company Freeport McMoRan's massive gold and copper mine in Indonesia's eastern Papua region, police said.

world Updated: Oct 20, 2009 14:13 IST

Two men were wounded on Tuesday in the latest shooting ambush near US company Freeport McMoRan's massive gold and copper mine in Indonesia's eastern Papua region, police said.

A mine worker and a driver were wounded after shots were fired at their bus at around 9:30 am on the road to the Grasberg mine, Papua police spokesman Agus Rianto told AFP.

"A convoy of buses carrying mine workers was shot by unknown people," Rianto said.

"A driver, Rudi Palanding, was shot in his finger and a passenger, Kristian, was shot in his right elbow and upper right hip. The police are chasing after (the shooters)," he added.

In a separate incident, a labourer working on a bridge was shot dead by unknown attackers in Puncak Jaya district, also in the central highlands, police said.

The ambush near the Freeport mine is the latest in a string of mysterious attacks on the road linking the mine with the coastal city of Timika over the last three months.

Australian mine technician Drew Grant was killed in a July 11 attack, while a Freeport security guard and a policeman were killed the following day.

The attacks were initially blamed by the military on rebels of the Free Papua Movement, but police have said there is no evidence that is the case.

The Freeport mine sits on some of the world's richest gold reserves and the US company's local subsidiary is the largest single taxpayer to the Indonesian government.

Papua, a resource-rich region on the western end of New Guinea island, has been the site of a low-level separatist insurgency since its incorporation into Indonesia in the 1960s.