Indonesian police arrest 12 suspects over Newmont attack

Police have arrested a dozen people suspected of setting fire last week to a camp owned by U.S.-based Newmont Mining Corp. in central Indonesia, officials said Tuesday.

The 12 were captured during a raid Sunday at Ropang village on Sumbawa Island in which eight people including four policemen were injured, said Lt. Col. Muhamad Basri, a local police spokesman.

He said the suspects resisted arrest, throwing stones, arrows and spears, at the police, seriously wounding one officer.

But two key suspects in the March 19 attack managed to escape the police raid, Basri said.

Last week's attack on the camp in West Nusatenggara province by about 50 villagers caused no injuries, but about 20 buildings were burned down. All 135 workers at the camp had already been evacuated before the attack.

The assailants were demanding 10 billion rupiah (US$1.1 million; Ђ .91 million) in compensation for community development from Denver-based Newmont, one of the world's largest gold mining companies.

The incident underscores the difficulties facing foreign companies working in remote corners of Indonesia and comes amid rising anger at Western mining and energy interests in the country, reports the AP.


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