Police detain three over attack on mining camp in Indonesia

Police said Tuesday they were questioning three people suspected of setting fire to an eastern Indonesian mining camp that belongs to a U.S.-owned Newmont Mining Corp.

The assailants were demanding compensation from Denver-based Newmont, one of the world's largest gold mining companies, for its gold and copper exploration activities in a remote part of Sumbawa Island, police say.

No one was reported injured in the blaze, but the company suspended exploration activities there.

Police chief Gen. Sutanto told reporters that three local people were being questioned over the attack, which comes amid rising anger at Western mining and energy interests in Indonesia. Sutanto, who like many Indonesians uses one name, gave no more details.

Foreign companies working in remote corners of Indonesia face frequent protests by nearby residents demanding jobs or compensation for resources, and spend millions of dollars on community development projects.

Analysts say the lack of legal certainty is stopping foreign companies from investing badly needed dollars in the country's natural resources sector, reports the AP.

I.L.