- The Washington Times - Monday, September 2, 2002

TIMIKA, Indonesia (AP) Government forces shot and killed a suspect in the fatal shooting of two U.S. teachers in Papua province yesterday as troops searched for a band of separatist insurgents thought to be behind the attack.
Saturday's ambush on a convoy close to a huge gold and copper mine operated by a U.S. corporation highlighted the Indonesian government's tenuous hold over the region and underlined the risks for foreign businesses investing in outlying Indonesian provinces.
Maj. Gen. Mahidin Simbolon, the Papua regional military chief, said the suspected insurgent was killed in a shootout yesterday morning near the site of the ambush. Papua's police chief, Brig. Gen. I Made Pastika, said a soldier was wounded in the exchange of fire with gunmen.
Police claim that about 15 rebels took part in Saturday's attack, which also wounded 10 persons, a few miles from the Grasberg mine. The mine has the world's largest deposits of gold and ranks second in copper.
"We are going all-out to catch the people behind this act of terror," Gen. Simbolon told reporters.
Some 250 troops were searching the surrounding jungles, though officers said fog was hampering the hunt.
The ambush was the bloodiest incident involving foreigners in almost four decades of intermittent warfare between government forces and separatist rebels in Papua. The slain Americans were teachers at a school at the mine, and six of those wounded also were Americans.
The six wounded Americans and two injured Indonesians were airlifted to Australia, where two underwent immediate surgery at Townsville Hospital in the far north of Queensland state. One woman remained in serious condition last night.
The two others injured were flown to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.

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