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Obuasi Residents Flee... As Miners Go On Rampage   
 
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21-Mar-2013  
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The gold mining town of Obuasi in Ashanti Region was thrown into a state of anarchy Wednesday afternoon when armed illegal gold miners, brandishing guns and firing sporadically, went on rampage.

The situation has caused many residents to flee the town for dear lives.

The sporadic firing in broad daylight forced businessmen and organisations to close their shops and offices to avoid being hit by stray bullets.

The illegal miners are alleged to have destroyed two vehicles belonging to AngloGold Ashanti, and not satisfied with that, they threatened to kidnap children of the miners of the company anytime they attended school.

The threat to kidnap children of AngloGold workers forced the authorities to close down the company’s basic school in the area.

A source told the Daily Graphic that the school would remain closed until the police brought the situation under control.

The illegal miners are said to have been angered by the presence of National Security operatives who closed down some mining pits at Kwabrafoso and other areas where the illegal miners were having a field day.

A source in Obuasi told Daily Graphic that as part of the measures to flush out foreigners carrying out illegal mining in Obuasi and its environs, National Security personnel besieged Obuasi early on Tuesday and arrested some Chinese galamsey operators.

The source said the operatives also closed down a number of pits which were being mined illegally for gold in the concession of AngloGold Ashanti

According to the source, the closure of the pits and the arrest of the Chinese angered their local partners, causing them to threaten to confront the National Security operatives and workers of AngloGold.

Confirming the story, the Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mohammed Yusif Tanko, said when news broke out that the local galamsey operators were creating fear and panic in Obuasi, the regional police command quickly responded by dispatching a number of policemen to restore sanity.

“So far, Obuasi is calm and we are in control,” Mr Tanko told the Daily Graphic in an interview.

He said since the operation to arrest foreigners engaged in illegal mining was primarily carried out by National Security, he could not indicate the number of miners who were arrested on Tuesday.

He also confirmed that two vehicles belonging to AngloGold Ashanti in Obuasi were destroyed by the rampaging galamseyers but said the police were yet to make any arrest.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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