Gunmen kill three at Freeport’s Indonesia mine

TIMIKA, Indonesia — Gunmen shot dead three people on Friday at a strike-hit gold and copper mine in Indonesia, its US operator said, raising the number of killings this month at the troubled facility to eight.

“Unidentified gunmen opened fire and three people were killed and one was wounded”, Ramdani Sirait, a spokesman for Freeport’s Indonesian subsidiary, told AFP.

He added that one of the victims was a Freeport contract worker and that the identities of the three others was not immediately known. All were shot inside the mining area, he said.

The Grasberg mine in the eastern Papua region, operated by Freeport McMoRan and one of the largest in the world, has been plagued by trouble since miners declared a strike over wages on September 15.

Also on Friday, an AFP correspondent in Timika saw Indonesian lawmakers meeting Freeport officials at the city’s Rimba Papua hotel.

Following that meeting, officials representing the miners sat down with Freeport management in talks mediated by the labour ministry, the correspondent reported.

“The company wants us to stop the strike while the negotiation is on going. But we will never do so if they don’t accept our demand,” the workers spokesman Virgo Solossa told AFP.

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