Striking Lonmin miners gather on a hill near the Marikana mine during a protest action this week, August 2012.
They vowed to stay there until their demands for higher salaries were met. Police restricted access to a road leading to the mine on Wednesday, 15 August 2012.
Violent protests are believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of
Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over
recognition agreements at the mine.
Workers also wanted higher wages. They claimed 
to be earning R4000 a month, with those living outside the hostel earning an extra R1000. Picture:Booysen Thamaga/SAPA
Striking Lonmin miners gather on a hill near the Marikana mine during a protest action this week, August 2012. They vowed to stay there until their demands for higher salaries were met. Police restricted access to a road leading to the mine on Wednesday, 15 August 2012. Violent protests are believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements at the mine. Workers also wanted higher wages. They claimed to be earning R4000 a month, with those living outside the hostel earning an extra R1000. Picture:Booysen Thamaga/SAPA

Shootout leaves 18 dead near Lonmin

By Time of article published Aug 16, 2012

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An attempt by the police on Thursday to disperse striking workers at Marikana's troubled Lonmin mine ended in a shootout between the two groups.

 A Sapa reporter at the scene said he counted 18 bodies lying next to the nearby Wonderkop squatter camp. The shooting lasted about three minutes.

 Police had tried to intercept a section of the strikers gathered on top of a hill.

 The strikers were wielding pangas and chanting war songs.

 Police fired teargas and then used a water cannon to disperse the strikers, who retaliated by firing live ammunition at the police.

 The area around the hill, which the strikers had turned into their base for the past few days, was cordoned off with barbed wire.

 The strikers scattered towards the squatter camp and the nearby veld.

 Police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao told journalists at the scene police had been “tactical” in their approach and that the situation was tense. - Sapa

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