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Thu Dec 18 01:05:32 SAST 2014

Soldiers deployed to support police operation in Marikana

Sapa | 16 September, 2012 08:09
A man holds a stone while running across the road as police approach Lonmin's Marikana mine in South Africa's North West Province
A man (L) holds a stone while running across the road as police approach Lonmin's Marikana mine in South Africa's North West Province September 15, 2012. South African police on Saturday fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse miners rallying in Marikana after raids on their hostels to seize arms, witnesses said. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: CIVIL UNREST BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT COMMODITIES POLITICS)
Image by: SIPHIWE SIBEKO / REUTERS

At least a thousand soldiers were deployed in Marikana on Saturday evening, the SA Defence Force (SANDF) said.

"The soldiers were deployed at the request of the police to support them in their operation,' said SANDF spokesman Brigadier General Xolani Mabanga.

Mabanga said the soldiers sent to Marikana included members from the air force, the army, and the military health services.

Earlier on Saturday, police fired rubber bullets to disperse striking mineworkers who had gathered in Nkaneng informal settlement in Wonderkop. Twelve people were arrested during a raid at Lonmin mine's Karee hostel, and pangas, knobkerries and other dangerous weapons were seized.

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