UPDATE 1-Freeport Indonesia shuts main supply route to mine after shooting

From Reuters - November 12, 2017

(Recasts with Freeport comment, adds details)

JAKARTA, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc has temporarily shut the main supply route to its Papua mine after a shooting incident, a spokesman said, amid escalating tensions between security forces and an armed rebel group in the area.

No one had been reported hurt after shots were fired at a vehicle, but the main supply route to the worlds second-biggest copper mine had been temporarily closed while the security situation was assessed, Freeport Indonesia spokesman Riza Pratama said in text message.

Authorities in Indonesias eastern province of Papua are delivering food and aid to villages near the mine where security forces say the rebel group has blocked residents movement, as security personnel surround the area, a police official said.

Police say a group linked to the Free Papua Movement (OPM) is preventing about 1,000 people from leaving five villages near the Grasberg mine operated by the U.S. company.

We continue to try a persuasive approach and dialogue, said Viktor Mackbon, police chief of the Mimika area, where the villages are located. Talks with the group would be conducted through public and religious figures in the region, he added.

Officials on Saturday said about 200 police and military personnel had been deployed in preparation to secure the area by force, if necessary.

Police sad they will distribute on Monday a notice in the area for the armed criminal group to give themselves up and surrender weapons.


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