According to eyewitness accounts, eight members of a Papua armed group mounted a gun attack at the PT Freeport office building around 2 p.m. on Monday before fleeing into the forest behind the Kuala Kencana area towards Mile 39.
A New Zealander, identified as Grame Thomas Wall, was killed after he was hit by a bullet, said Mimika Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner I, Gusti Gede Era Adhinata, on Monday.
“There was one death. The remains of Grame Thomas Wall will be flown to New Zealand tomorrow,” said Adhinata.
Two more workers were also injured in the shooting, said police. They have been identified as Jibril MA Bahar, employed with PT Kuala Pelabuhan Indonesia, and Yoshepine, a construction worker with PT Freeport Indonesia. Bahar was shot in the right thigh, while Yoshepine was injured by bullet fragments on the leg.
The two have been admitted to the AEA clinic in Kuala Kencana.
Eyewitnesses have said they saw eight persons carrying firearms entering the PT Freeport office building.
"We suspect there were eight gunmen. Witnesses saw eight people carrying firearms," Adhinata said.
The attackers are believed to be members of the Kali Kopi armed group, led by Joni Botak.
At the time of the shooting, the office building was being guarded by six personnel from the Police Mobile Brigade's Amole Task Force.
A joint military and police team has been deployed to nab the gunmen. "We have intensified security in Kuala Kencana area and are coordinating with all units to hunt them down. We will conduct massive raids in prone areas,” said Adhinata.
He asked workers and families residing in Kuala Kencana to stay calm as the authorities have stepped up security in the region. (INE)
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