8 Apr 2011

Gunmen kill two workers at Freeport Gold Mine in Papua

8:05 am on 8 April 2011

Gunmen have killed two workers at Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc's giant gold mine in Indonesia's Papua province.

A Freeport company spokesman says the shooting by unidentified gunmen left the car the two workers were in a blazing wreck, but did not affect production at the world's largest gold mine.

Local police say two men died in the burning car and they will increase security in the area, with the deaths coming only a day after another shooting nearby that injured two people.

The mine has been a frequent source of friction in Papua because of its environmental impact, the share of revenue going to local Papuans and the legality of payments to Indonesian security forces who help guard the site.

Previous deadly attacks blamed on separatists have often been fairly unsophisticated with attackers poorly armed, and the military and police generally keep a tight rein on the province.