Trucks Attacked With Explosives Amid Colombia Mine Strike

Cerrejon, Site of Coal Strike, Targeted as Trucks Are Damaged
A logo sits on display ahead of BHP Billiton Ltd.'s annual general meeting in London. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Attackers detonated explosives in an early morning assault in Colombia on the Cerrejon coal-mining venture owned by BHP Billiton Ltd., Xstrata Plc and Anglo American Plc, Cerrejon said.

The assault damaged four trucks that had been stopped in the area of the mine because of a 17-day-old strike, according to an e-mailed statement today from Cerrejon. Nobody was killed, and it wasn’t clear who targeted the vehicles, the company said.

“Cerrejon emphatically rejects the act of terrorism carried out against it,” it said in the statement. “Cerrejon calls upon its workers and the community for solidarity in condemning these acts.”

Workers at Cerrejon, the world’s largest export-focused, open-pit coal mine, walked off the job Feb. 7 in part to demand a pay raise.

Igor Diaz, president of the coal workers’ union Sintracarbon, said in a telephone interview that his group denounces the attack and that his union plans to re-engage mine leadership tomorrow in a step toward resolving the labor dispute.

“We completely reject this terrorist attack,” he said in a telephone interview from Barrancas, in La Guajira, Colombia.

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