S.Africa police fire on striking miners, several dead

By REUTERS
August 16, 2012 17:40

 
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MARIKANA, South Africa - South African police opened fire on Thursday against thousands of striking miners armed with machetes and sticks at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine, leaving several bloodied corpses lying on the ground.

A Reuters cameraman said he saw at least seven bodies after the shooting, which occurred when police laying out barricades of barbed wire were outflanked by some of an estimated 3,000 miners massed on a rocky outcrop near the mine, 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.

Police officers said talks with leaders of the radical Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) had broken down, leaving no option but to disperse them by force.

Ten people, including two policemen, have died in nearly a week of fighting between rival worker factions at the mine, the latest platinum plant to be hit by fallout from an eight-month union turf war in the world's main producer of the precious metal.

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