A New Zealand miner has been shot and killed near one of the world's largest gold mines in Indonesia.
The man has been identified by local police sources as Graeme Thomas Wall, a 57-year-old originally from Ngaruawahia, Waikato.
Seven employees of PT Freeport Indonesia were reportedly attacked by a group of eight gunmen in a mine office parking area in Timika in Indonesia's easternmost Papua province.
Local police chief Gusti Gde Era Adhinata told the Associated Press (AP) news agency that Wall was shot in the chest and died while being taken to a hospital.
Two other shot Indonesian miners were in a critical condition while four more suffered minor injuries, AP reports.
It's understood that Wall, who went to Ngaruawahia High School, lived in Tembagapura, in Papua and has family living in Australia.
Wall's family is devastated by the sudden loss.
"I'm struggling to comprehend losing you," one of his brothers, Ross, wrote on Facebook.
"There are no words to describe what a great person, great friend and brother you were and always will be."
Others have paid tribute to a "gentle soul" and "great guy" killed in a "senseless act".
Adhinata told AP that police were still searching for the attackers who fled into dense jungle.
Papuan police spokesman Ahmad Mustafa Kamal said in a statement that joint security forces were carrying out a pursuit in the forest area in Kuala Kencana.
Meanwhile, PT Freeport Indonesia says workers have been evacuated from the office.
The West Papua Liberation Army, the military wing of the Free Papua Organisation, claimed responsibility on Monday for the attacks.
AP reports that spokesman Sebby Sambom warned in a statement that mine employees must leave company areas that the group declared in 2017 to be part of their battle zone.
"We will keep fighting until Freeport stops operating and talks for the independence of Papua begin," Sambom said.
Papua province has experienced clashes between security forces and a rebel group since late last month, AP says. Two security personnel and four Papuan independence fighters have already been killed.
According to local police, the attackers including a group of eight people, with three of them armed with long rifles.
The Indonesian Embassy in Wellington told the Herald that, based on witness accounts, the police identified the two shooters as Lino Mom Ilmar and Antonius Aim - known members of "the armed criminal group" led by Joni Botak.
The Ambassador of Indonesia to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya said the attack could not be justified in any way.
"The armed criminal group in Papua always claims they will only attack security forces. The fact shows that the majority of their victims are civilians," Yahya said.
"The shooting in Kuala Kencana will only add the burdens of the people and the security apparatus in Papua, who are now working hard in containing the Covid-19 epidemic.
"It demonstrates that the armed criminal group never cares about the impact of their actions to the Papuans. I hope this will open the eyes of many people of the true face of the armed criminal group."
Yahya passed on his "deepest condolences" to the family of the victims and said they are there to help if needed.