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Soldiers Brutalise Saamang Residents   
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Tension is mounting in the Akyem Saamang community in the Eastern Region due to alleged attacks on inhabitants by some soldiers.

The soldiers were said to have beaten up some of the residents for protesting against operations of a mining company in the area.

According to sources which spoke to the Ghanaian Times, the inhabitants of the town had to flee into the bush, immediately they saw some military vehicles on the Saamang streets.

One source said the soldiers were deployed to Saamang through the influence of the Solar Mining Company, located in the town.

The source said the mining company used the soldiers to intimidate the Saamang residents who refused to give out their farms to the company. Basic schools in the area were also said to have closed abruptly when some soldiers fired gun shots and chased some of the fleeing young men into the bushes.

Others had to escape for fear of losing their lives as the soldiers fired indiscriminately. The sources further said that even some old women and young ladies received severe beatings from the soldiers, causing great fear and panic in the area.

Joyce Effah, one of the women at Saamang who spoke to the Times, said about 8:30am, some carpenters were chatting over their business when some soldiers passed by her house and suddenly stopped, beating anyone they saw.

She said the soldiers then drove off firing gun shots into some houses. Ms. Effah said some of the soldiers entered her house and broke the door to her room and beat her up together with her sons.

She said an old woman collapsed when the soldiers started beating her and her sons. A headmaster of one of the basic schools in the area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Times that when the incident started, the pupils in the school were so scared that he did not know exactly what to do.

Another teacher of the Saamang Methodist Primary School also told the Times that many teachers fled from the town. One of the men who were beaten severely was sent to the Koforidua Central Hospital for treatment, a source told the Times.

When the Times contacted the Assemblyman, for Saamang, Mr. Gyeatuo Kyenkyenku, he said that he had to escape through the bush and managed to send some of the wounded people to the hospital.

He said that the soldiers were sent to Saamang to protect a mining company in the area that the people had refused to allow them to operate. When the Times contacted the Eastern Regional Police Command, DCOP Kwabena Gyamerah-Yeboah said that the police were investigating the matter.

Source: Ghanaian Times

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