Sierra Leone Strike Claims Victim, Eight People Hospitalized

One person was killed and eight injured about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from African Minerals Ltd.’s Tonkolili iron-ore mine in northern Sierra Leone in a protest over salaries, Ibrahim Conteh of the Bumbuna Government Hospital said.

“Police have been firing all over the town of Bumbuna since yesterday,” Conteh said by phone from Tonkolili today.

Residents from the mining community have joined striking workers to block roads leading to the mine, police Inspector Ibrahim Kamara, operations officer for the Sierra Leone Police in Tonkolili, said in by phone today. There is no official record of casualties, Kamara said.

African Minerals said that while it couldn’t comment on the protest, the goverment is treating it as civil disobedience.

“Events in Bumbuna are not having a material effect on its activities and the company looks forward to a swift resolution to the disturbance,” the London-based company said in an e-mailed statement today.

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