Four suspects arrested after exchange of gunfire with Surinamese police |  outside

Four suspects arrested after exchange of gunfire with Surinamese police | outside

One of the suspects was hospitalized because he was injured during an escape attempt shortly after the gunfight. On the same day, the police arrested another suspect. The police arrested two more suspects the next day and Thursday.

Police said the suspects assaulted employees of the Forestry Management Corporation and Postwichtscht Foundation (SBB) and took hostages in the area around Pekin Saron village last Tuesday. They also took their cars with them. Truck drivers and employees of the Surinamese mining company Grasalco were also taken hostage. The Surinamese newspaper said the suspects also shot officers at the Bikin Saron checkpoint and set fire to the site. Two police officers were injured and had to be taken to Paramaribo for treatment.

The army and police released the hostages on the same day. Pikin Saron is located about 60 kilometers southwest of the capital, Paramaribo. It has been unsettled for some time in the region which is rich in natural resources, such as wood, gold and other minerals. Indigenous people have been complaining for years that third parties, especially from Paramaribo, are taking land and concessions to exploit natural resources from the government – without consulting the locals. The newspaper said that the indigenous people are calling for an end to this practice.

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