South African news agency eNCA has released footage that clearly shows a number of heavily armed officers shooting striking miners.
According to the Mail and Guardian, reporters saw at least 18 bodies after the incident, which occurred at Marikana’s troubled Lonmin mine. The paper says strikers had fired live-ammunition at the police, though a Reuters report says it was “not clear” if the strikers had fired.
The footage shows the shooting around 1.20.
An AP report describes the situation behind the strike:
The unrest at the Lonmin mine began Aug. 10, as some 3,000 workers walked off the job over pay in what management described as an illegal strike. Lonmin is the world’s third largest platinum producer. Amid the unrest, global platinum values rose more than $30 an ounce in trading Thursday while stock in Lonmin plunged 6.76 per cent on the London Stock Exchange. The company’s stock value has dropped more than 12 per cent since the start of the strike.
The walkout is being exacerbated by a dispute between the dominant National Union of Mineworkers and the upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union. Two security guards were killed Sunday, and on Monday two police officers and three officers were killed.
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