Dead and injured in shootout with Surinamese police after riots | Abroad
Two people were killed and several injured in an exchange of fire between civilians and police in the Surinamese village of Pikin Saron, about 60 kilometers southwest of the capital Paramaribo. This is reported by the Surinamese news site Waterkant, which describes the villagers involved in the shooting as “insurgents”.
Video footage and photos circulating on social media show shots being fired from shotguns and automatic firearms. Two police officers were injured and taken to Paramaribo for treatment. At least ten trucks loaded with logs were set on fire, the newspaper reports Real time. The local police station completely burned down.
It was also hectic in nearby Maripaston. Employees of the state mining company Grassalco were taken hostage by insurgents but have since been released, according to Waterkant.
It has been disturbed for a long time in the region, which is rich in natural resources, such as timber, gold and other minerals. For example, more than two weeks ago, local residents invaded a Grassalco gold claim, according to the Real time because they disagree with the treatment of the native inhabitants of the region. They have complained for years that third parties, mainly from Paramaribo, receive land and concessions from the government for the exploitation of natural resources – without consulting local residents. The natives demand an end to this practice, the newspaper said.
Surinamese President Chan Santokhi called an emergency meeting of the country’s security summit in response to the unrest. “These actions have no place in our society. Any dissatisfaction is resolved in consultation and with conversations. Also in this case, grievances of local residents will be dealt with in a proper way,” Santokhi said.
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