2 Killed In Ayamfuri Clash

Two
persons were confirmed dead when residents of Ayamfuri in the Central Region
clashed with members of Operation Vanguard,  the anti-illegal mining task force, last
Friday.

According
to sources, the incident happened as a result of the alleged refusal by Perseus
Mining Company in the area to cede part of its concession for small-scale
miners in the area.

DAILY
GUIDE
checks showed that some
residents, mainly illegal miners, ‘invaded’ the mining company’s concession with
tailings which were being protected from being taken away because it contained
cyanide, a deadly chemical used in mining gold.

The
personnel from the anti-illegal mining taskforce were then called in to help
drive the alleged illegal miners away and in the process, a serious confrontation
ensued.

Unconfirmed
reports had it that the illegal miners fired gun at the personnel of the
taskforce, and the personnel also returned fire to disperse the agitated
illegal miners, resulting in the deaths of the two.

Other
sources also indicated that in the ensuing confrontation, some of the youth set
ablaze a pickup vehicle belonging to Operation Vanguard, which angered the
military personnel who stormed the community and started
shooting sporadically.

Initial
reports were that eight persons – including five residents and three military
personnel – were killed in the incident but a source at the mining company
confirmed that two persons lost their lives during the melee.

The
deceased persons, the paper gathered, were all residents of Ayamfuri and
included a kingpin of the alleged illegal miners in the area.

According
to sources, the galamsey kingpin died on the spot while the other deceased
person was pronounced dead on arrival at the Dunkwaw Government Hospital in the
region.

The
paper also leant that one of the personnel of the anti-galamsey taskforce
sustained gunshot wounds and was treated at a clinic and discharged.

Deborah
Mensah, a resident, insisted that four persons died and that the incident
happened when some youth in the area who were transporting some sand in a tricycle
were attacked by the military personnel.

Meanwhile,
when contacted, a source at Operation Vanguard indicated that no death was
recorded during the incident and that if anyone was reported dead, it was not
as a result of the clash.

Minister Visits

Meanwhile,
the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, was
expected to visit Persus Mining Company following the deadly clash.

Public Relations Officer of the Lands Ministry, Abraham Otabil, indicated that the minister’s visit was, among other things, to find out at firsthand the cause of the violence that reportedly led to the death of two persons.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi



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