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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 October 2007, 03:54 GMT 04:54 UK
Clashes near Papua mine kill four
At least four people have been killed in three days of tribal clashes around a US-owned mine in Indonesia's remote Papua region.

Dozens more were injured as rival groups in the Tembagapura district used bows and arrows to battle each other.

Squads of extra police have been deployed to the area in an attempt to end the fighting, officials said.

The clashes are taking place around the giant Freeport-McMoRan gold and copper mine, one of the largest in the world.

A spokesman for the mine said that officials did not know what had triggered the fighting, but it was unrelated to the mine.

"In the morning they fight, then they stop for lunch and a rest, and then in the afternoon they fight again," Mindo Pangaribuan told the Associated Press news agency.

The Jakarta Post said that the clashes involved four different tribes, three of whom had banded together to fight against the other one.

It put the toll from the clashes as high as eight, citing a witness in the area, while a police chief told local radio that 45 people had been hurt.

The tribes involved had a history of clashes, reports said.

The area around the mine has also been the scene of unrest in the past. Last year, a protest by local people mining illegally in the area forced production to be suspended.

A month later, three policemen and a soldier were killed during protests against the mine in the provincial capital, Jayapura.

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