Gunmen attack chopper near Indonesia Freeport mine

December 17, 2011 - 1:00 AM

TIMIKA, Indonesia (AP) — Police say gunmen attacked a helicopter carrying workers from Freeport-McMoRan's massive gold and copper mine in eastern Indonesia, wounding one person.

The attack occurred Saturday as thousands of workers returned to the Grasberg mine in Papua province following a three-month strike over low wages.

Police spokesman Col. Wachjono said unidentified gunmen opened fire minutes after the helicopter left the mining town of Tembagapura with 29 workers who had just come off their shifts.

With only slight damage to the chopper, the Russian pilots were able to continue on to Timika, where they landed safely.

Another police officer said Mary Jane Mather — the Filipino wife of one of the employees — was being treated for shrapnel wounds.