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18 shot at platinum mine conflict in South Africa


08:55, August 17, 2012

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- At least 18 people were shot and feared dead or injured at a platinum mine conflict in South Africa on Thursday, local media reported

The shooting took place at 04:00 p.m. as police attempted to disperse armed striking miners at Lonmin's Marikana mine in the northern province of the North West, the South African Press Association (SAPA) quoted police as saying.

A witness claimed to have seen 18 bodies lying on the ground.

Paramedics attended to those hit during the shoot-out between police and armed miners, report said.

Lonmin is reportedly the world's third largest platinum producer with approximately 28,000 employees, and its operational headquarters is in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The miners had gathered on a hill at the mine since Monday, demanding the improvement of their working condition by raising their monthly salary from current about 4,000 to 12,500 rands (about 480 to 1,500 U.S. dollars).
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