Tensions Break Anew: Around 18 Dead in New Mining Clashes in South Africa

 @MayaErgas
on August 16 2012 3:14 PM
Policeat south africa mine
Bodies of dead miners lie on the ground after police open-fired into a mass of oncoming workers. Reuters

More violence erupted at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in South Africa on Wednesday, when striking workers armed with machetes and sticks clashed with policemen armed with guns. After three minutes and 18 seconds, the South African outlet News24 reported there were at least 18 bodies left on the ground.

Footage of the battle is available on News24's website.

Lonmin is the world's third largest producer of platinum, according to the Wall Street Journal. Lonmin Chairman Roger Phillimore released a statement saying, "We deeply regret the further loss of life in what is clearly a public order rather than a labor-relations-associated matter."

This is the second bout of violence in as many weeks at the same mine. Last week, ten people, including two policemen, were killed when rival Union factions clashed in a turf battle. Further clashes back in January and February at Impala Platinum Holdings closed the mine for six weeks.

South Africa is Africa's largest economy, and also home to four-fifths of the world's platinum reserves, according to the Guardian.

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