1 die, 80 arrested in war against galamsey

One illegal miner has died and 80 others have been arrested in the country’s renewed fight against illegal small scale mining, popularly called galamsey

A violent clash between illegal small scale miners and the national anti-galamsey joint military-police taskforce at Wawasi, a galamsey community in Obuasi in the Ashanti region, on Sunday, left one person dead.

The 80 others, who were arrested at separate mining locations by the taskforce within the last week, are currently undergoing screening.

In the Wawasi clash, the miners and the taskforce exchanged gunfire in which began with the agitated miners pelting stones at the members of the taskforce to avoid arrest.

Major Gariba Pabi, spokesman for the taskforce, which was commissioned last week to implement “Operation Vanguard”, as part of a national effort to halt illegal mining, said the team detected the illegal miners operating in the area.

He said as the team approached the miners got agitated and started pelting stones, and opened fire in addition.

In a bid to protect themselves, Major Gariba said the team members also fired back in a bid to disperse the agitated miners.

After the illegal miners had escaped, he said the taskforce discovered one of the illegal miners lying with a gunshot wound.

He said the injured illegal miner was offered first aid and sent to the hospital but was later pronounced dead by doctors.

According to the spokesman the taskforce did not intend to start the operation with bloodshed, adding that the team was only working to ensure that illegal mining was stopped for the benefit of the environment.

The taskforce is made up of a contingent of 400 military and police personnel deployed to the various mining zones.

By Times Reporter

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