Papua protest in Indonesia: 3 officers, 1 soldier killed

Armed police are patrolling the capital of Indonesia's Papua province, Jayapura, after clashes with protesters demanding the closure of a gold mine.

Police have arrested 57 people over Thursday's violence during which three officers and a soldier were killed.

There have been protests against the mine's operator - US giant Freeport McMoRan - since security forces tried to evict unlicensed miners last month.

Supporters of Papua independence see the mine as a symbol of unfair rule.

"The situation in Jayapura and the surrounding areas is now back to normal. Shops are already open, buses running normally," police spokesman Kartono Wangsadisastra said.

Police officials said they have appealed for people to remain calm and "restrain themselves".

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono rejected demands for the immediate closure of the mine but said he would assign ministers to examine social grievances related to its operations.

The Freeport McMoRan mine - Indonesia's biggest taxpayer - is one of the largest in the world.

There has been frequent controversy over its environmental impact, the share of revenue going to Papuans, and the legality of payments to Indonesian security forces who help guard the site.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged Indonesia's government to allow an independent inquiry into the violence.

There were unconfirmed reports of two civilian deaths in the clashes, and rights groups said at least six protesters were seriously injured, HRW said in a statement, reports BBC news.


Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Editorial Team