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August 16th, 2012
11:19 PM ET

Striking miners fired on in South Africa

Rising tensions at a South African platinum mine exploded Thursday in grisly violence as police opened fire on striking miners.

Blood-stained bodies lay strewn about a field in a police response reminiscent of the ugly days of apartheid.

Police have not released a death toll, but a South African Press Association reporter counted 18 corpses. It's feared more could be dead.

Witnesses described the scene as chaotic, making it seemingly impossible to determine who started firing on whom first.

The South African Police Service, though, issued a statement late Thursday indicating its members trying to "disarm and disperse a heavily armed group of illegal gatherers at Lonmin mine" when they were fired upon.

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Filed under: South Africa
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Who is inciting violence?

    The police were cowards. They obviously outnumbered the protesters who were carrying clubs. Clearly since it took the police all of 4 seconds to down the lot the police were in no imminent danger. The police are in effect inciting violence by saying if you want to protest safely you need to bring a gun....and surely next time they will. What would have happened if they had let the protesters protest? Would anyone have been hurt? The police only provided themselves as a target. Its worse than Apartheid because during Apartheid the police used sticks to attack their victims. Anyone in DC now needs to go to the South African embassy now and protest this police brutality.

    August 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  2. carolina

    This Violence has got to STOP. We need to find other ways of dealing with problems. Guns bring pain and suffering. Platinum mining for Whom? For what? and to bring death to whom????
    This will bring nothing but heart ache and Pain.....Stop all of it.

    August 17, 2012 at 6:31 am |