Three wounded in shooting near US mine in Papua

In this picture taken on October 10, 2011, Indonesian police clash with striking workers of US gold and copper mining giant company Freeport McMoran in Timika in Indonesia's Papua province, where police shot and killed one protester and wounded another. (AFP Photo/Tjahjo Eranius)

At least one gunman has wounded three people near a huge Indonesian gold and copper mine owned by US firm Freeport-McMoRan, the company said Sunday.

The attacks occurred near the vast Grasberg mine in Indonesia's rugged eastern province of Papua.

Mysterious shooting ambushes on the roads surrounding the company's massive open-pit mine are not uncommon and have resulted in deaths in the past.

The attacks on Saturday injured two policemen and a security contractor, according to Freeport spokesman Riza Pratama.

"One Mitra Siaga contractor suffered minor injuries from flying glass when the vehicle he was in was struck by small arms fire around 08:05 Saturday," Pratama said in a statement to AFP.

Hours later two policemen searching for those responsible were wounded by gunfire, one seriously.

A man was captured by police about 3:15pm on Saturday and was being questioned in relation to the incident, Pratama said.

Papua police were not immediately available for comment, and it is not known how many gunmen were involved.

Papua has been the site of a low-level insurgency since it was annexed by Indonesian in the 1969.

Violence occurs regularly at Freeport's mine, a symbol of the Papuan struggle for more benefits from its natural resources. – AFP

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