JOHANNESBURG - South African police raided hostels at Lonmin's Karee platinum mine on Saturday to disarm miners after government announced a crackdown on "illegal gatherings" and the carrying of weapons.

"The aim of the raid was to disarm the mine workers to make sure that we do away with the elements of threats that are taking their toll in the area of Marikana," regional police spokesman Thulani Ngubane said.

Ngubane said police retrieved weapons such as machetes and spears.

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