Guards held hostage in Witbank mine

2012-09-12 07:06
Striking miners (File, AP)

Striking miners (File, AP)

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Johannesburg - Fifteen security guards were held hostage by a group of 30 men inside a shaft at the Xstrata mine in Witbank, Mpumalanga police said on Wednesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Hlathi said the group of unknown men entered a mine shaft on Tuesday afternoon.

"The security guards followed the group of men into the shaft to fetch them."

Hlathi said the group of men then captured the security guards and held them hostage. Two of the security guards later managed to escape and called for help.

"More security guards were sent into the shaft as reinforcement. The captured guards were found and retrieved."

Hlathi said it was believed that the group of men were still inside the mine.

"No injuries have been reported and we are hoping to make arrests soon."

The Xstrata group was not immediately available for comment.

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