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34 dead in S Africa mine clash

Chaos as police open fire on thousands of striking miners at a South African platinum mine on Thursday, leaving 34 dead and nearly 80 injured. Police said they were forced to fire in self-defence. The incident at Lonmin's Marikana mine - one of the bloodiest police operations since the end of the apartheid era - has drawn anger from many South Africans. (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOLANDA MNISI, RESIDENT, SAYING: "Why did they have to use ammunition if they could have used tear gas or water or something? Why did they have to shoot those people?" (SOUNDBITE) (English) CAMERON MURPHY, RESIDENT, SAYING: "I think it is terrible, it's hard to know what really went on. It sounds very chaotic, definitely it's disturbing from an outside perspective." One day after the incident, investigators were combing the scene for evidence as hundreds of police backed by armoured vehicles and helicopters ensured an eerie calm. London-headquartered Lonmin was forced to shut down its platinum operations after inter-union rivalry at the mine boiled over a week ago. Prior to Thursday, 10 people, including two policemen, had died in nearly a week of fighting between union factions at Marikana.

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