Tensions Explode Into Violence at Platinum Mine
Rising tensions explode into grisly violence at South African mine
By the CNN Wire Staff
Marikana, South Africa (CNN) — Rising tensions at a South African platinum mine exploded Thursday in grisly violence as police opened fire on striking miners.
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.
“The South African Police Service was viciously attacked by the group, using a variety of weapons, including firearms,” the agency said. “The police, in order to protect their own lives and in self defense, were forced to engage the group with force.”