12/25/2011 07:25 EST | Updated 02/24/2012 05:12 EST

2 people killed as protest over planned gold mine in eastern Indonesia turns violent

BIMA, Indonesia - Two people have been killed and 10 others injured during a violent protest over a planned gold mine in eastern Indonesia.

The victims were among nearly 1,000 people in Lambu village in West Nusatenggara province who were trying to stop the gold mining project by Australia's Arc Exploration Ltd. and its Indonesian partner, PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara. The villagers fear the project will destroy their land and threaten forests and water resources.

National police spokesman Maj. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution says police were forced to fire on Saturday's protest after demonstrators burned down dozens of government buildings, banks and homes.

Nasution said Sunday that police arrested 47 people involved in the protest, which disrupted port and ferry services in the coastal town of Sape.