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Two dead in protest over arrested Burkina gold miners

Two dead in protest over arrested Burkina gold miners
FILE - Miners take a break at an illegal gold mine, February 20, 2014, in the village of Nobsin   -  
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Burkina Faso

Two people have been confirmed dead in Houndé, western Burkina Faso following clashes between police and angry gold miners.

According to government’s spokesperson, the clash was a result of 12 of their comrades (gold miners who had taken part in the sacking of a major gold mine last week.

"Yesterday, Tuesday (May 24), there was a movement of gold miners demanding the release of their comrades who had been arrested following the demonstration that caused the destruction of equipment and injuries at the Houndé mine," said the spokesman, Lionel Bilgo, at the end of the council of ministers.

He added that one of the deaths resulted from a stampede whiles the other through gunfire.

An investigation was underway "to determine the origin of these bullets and establish who was responsible".

On 17 May, seven people were injured and dozens of vehicles were set on fire when opponents of the expulsion of local gold miners ransacked the Houndé gold mine.

"Following the demonstrations which caused considerable damage to the mine, twelve people were arrested," which led to Tuesday's clashes with the police, Bilgo said.

He called for calm, saying a crisis committee had been set up to "find a solution".

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