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U.S. firm denies staff were fired on in Indonesia

  • Story Highlights
  • Antara News Agency said two people were killed when convoy was attacked
  • Convoy was transporting employees of U.S. mining company PT Freeport
  • Company clarified a vehicle was wrecked but no shots fired at convoy
  • Papua residents resent firm's presence, criticize environmental impact, little benefit
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JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- A U.S. mining company has denied a report by Indonesia's state media that a convoy of its buses came under fire in the province of Papua Wednesday.

Indonesian soldiers provide security near a PT Freeport-owned gold mine in Timika, Papua province, on July 18.

Indonesian soldiers provide security near a PT Freeport-owned gold mine in Timika, Papua province, on July 18.

The state-run Antara News Agency had said that two people were reportedly killed when a 12-bus convoy carrying employees of PT Freeport was attacked by unidentified gunmen in the country's eastern-most province.

The company clarified that a vehicle was wrecked in the province, killing one person and wounding several others. When police and mechanics drove to the area to assist, shots were fired at them. Three people were hurt in the shooting, the company said.

"No shots were fired at the PT-FI bus convoy as earlier reported," the company said.

Following the company's comments, Antara's Web site changed its report to reflect the new information.

PT Freeport is the largest copper and gold mining company in the province.

Attacks directed at the company killed an Australian mine technician and two Indonesians on July 11 and 12.

And two directors of the company were wounded Friday in a twin attack at the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in the capital Jakarta.

Papua residents have long resented the presence of PT Freeport in the province. They have criticized the environmental impact of the mining operations and the small share of revenues the province receives.

In 2008, a separatist group claimed responsibility for a series of bomb attacks in the area. No one died in the attacks, Antara said.

In 2002, two American teachers and an Indonesian colleague who worked at the mine were shot dead in an attack, the news agency said.

Meanwhile, authorities on Wednesday released sketches of two men believed to have carried out the bombings at the luxury hotels in Jakarta.

One was about 40; the other 17, officials said. Analysis of their DNA matched those obtained from a homemade explosive found in a room at the Marriott where they had checked in, police said.

But authorities still do not know their identities.

CNN's Andy Saputra contributed to this report.

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