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South Africa’s Lonmin Marikana mine clashes killed 34

Thirty-four people were killed after police opened fire on striking miners at a South African mine on Thursday, the police chief has said.

Riah Phiyega said police had been forced to shoot after armed protesters charged them, “firing shots”, at the Marikana mine in the north-east.

At least 78 people were injured in the confrontation, she added.

Unions are demanding an inquiry into the incident – one of the bloodiest police operations since apartheid.

The Lonmin-owned platinum mine has been at the centre of a violent pay dispute, exacerbated by tensions between two rival trade unions.

Violence had already killed 10 people, including two police officers, since the strike began a week ago.

Some of the strikers’ wives gathered near the mine on Friday, chanting anti-police songs and demanding to know what had happened to their husbands.

“Police, stop shooting our husbands and sons,” read a banner carried by the women, according to the Associated Press news agency.

South African President Jacob Zuma has cut short a trip to Mozambique in order to visit the mine, which lies about 100km (62 miles) north-west of Johannesburg.

Read the full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated March 23, 2017 at 11:45 PM
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