Tue Mar 14, 11:22 PM ET
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Protesters demanding the closure of a U.S.-owned gold mine in Papua clashed with police Wednesday in the second day of violent protests in the province. Two officers were injured after being hit with protesters’ arrows, police said.
Around 200 protesters fought with police as they tried to march on the Grasberg mine, run by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., Lt. Col. Dedi Junaidi told el-Shinta radio station.
Junaidi said the two injured officers were hospitalized but did not say how badly they had been hurt. Seven protesters were arrested.
There have been several protests in recent weeks against the gold mine - said to be the world’s largest - by mostly poor locals who complain they have received no benefits from it.
Freeport, which pays millions of dollars in taxes and funds scores of community projects, was forced to temporarily shut the facility last month after demonstrators blockaded it.
Papua is home to a popular separatist movement that has been brutally repressed by Indonesian security forces. The mine is often held up by independence supporters as a symbol of the unfair division of resources between the capital and Papua.
The eastern part of the island forms Papua New Guinea.