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Published on Aug 16, 2012 by enewschannel WARNING: SENSITIVE VIEWERS ARE ADVISED THAT THIS VIDEO CONTAINS CONTENT OF A GRAPHIC NATURE. At least seven miners have been killed in a shoot-out with police during a protest at Lonmin Platinum Mine in the North West province of South Africa. The exact number of dead and wounded is not yet known, but some reports say the death toll is as high as 18. Paramedics are at the scene and at least one victim has reportedly been airlifted to a nearby hospital. The government has yet to make a statement.
South African police opened fire Thursday on a crowd of striking workers at a platinum mine, leaving an unknown number of people injured and possibly dead. Motionless bodies lay on the ground in pools of blood. Police moved in on striking workers who gathered near the Lonmin PLC mine Thursday afternoon after urging them to give up their weapons and go home to their hostels and shacks. Some did leave, though others carrying weapons began war chants and soon started marching toward the township near the mine, said Molaole Montsho, a journalist with the South African Press Association who was at the scene. The police opened up with a water cannon first, then used stun grenades and tear gas to try and break up the crowd, Montsho said. Suddenly, a group of miners rushed through the scrub and underbrush at a line of police officers. Images broadcast by private television broadcaster e.tv showed officers immediately opening fire, with miners falling to the ground. Dozens of shots were fired by police armed with automatic rifles and pistols. The gunfire from weapons apparently on full automatic ended with police officers shouting: "Cease fire!" By that time, bodies were lying in the dust, some pouring blood. Another image showed some miners, their eyes wide, looking in the distance at heavily armed police officers in riot gear.