Six killed in explosion at illegal gold mine in Colombia

Rescue personnel coordinate to search for missing miners after an explosion at an underground coal mine in Cucunuba, Colombia, June 24, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 30 July 2017
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Six killed in explosion at illegal gold mine in Colombia

COLOMBIA: Six security contractors working for Canadian-listed miner Continental Gold were killed after an explosion at an illegal gold mine in central Colombia, the company said on Saturday.
The explosion took place on Friday in the Buritica municipality of Antioquia province when the contractors surprised a group of illegal miners in a shaft they were inspecting, Continental said. One of the seven contractors survived.
Illegal mining is widespread in Colombia and accidents and civil unrest around mines are not uncommon.
“The contractors were performing routine underground inspections of a government-closed illegal mine,” Continental said in a statement on its website.
“Upon entering the underground mine, the contractors were accosted by illegal miners, followed by a subsequent explosion,” Continental said. “The company is looking to authorities to enforce the rule of law to prevent this kind of tragic event from ever happening again.”
The inspection of the illegal mine was mandated by the government.
The regional disaster authority earlier in the day released initial details of the incident but said the cause of the explosion was not yet clear. It did not provide details on the number or condition of the illegal miners.
The Continental statement did not elaborate on the cause of the explosion.


Gunmen kill 13 at Veracruz bar in one of worst Mexican slayings this year

Updated 24 min 4 sec ago
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Gunmen kill 13 at Veracruz bar in one of worst Mexican slayings this year

  • The unidentified assailants opened fire on Friday night after coming to look for a man at the bar
  • Seven men, five women and a child died in the shooting

MEXICO CITY: Gunmen shot dead 13 people at a bar in the city of Minatitlan in the Mexican Gulf coast state of Veracruz, authorities said on Friday, in one of the worst slayings to hit Mexico since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office.
The unidentified assailants opened fire on Friday night after coming to look for a man at a bar in the southeast of Minatitlan, a spokesman for the government of Veracruz said.
Seven men, five women and a child died in the shooting, which occurred close to Minatitlan’s oil refinery, one of six run by state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). Four other people were injured, the state government said in a statement.
The motive for the killings was unclear, the spokesman said.
The man the gunmen were seeking was identified as the owner of a bar in the city, the state government said. The attack took place during a family celebration.
It was not immediately clear if the man owned the bar where the attack occurred, nor whether he was present at the time.
Hugo Gutierrez, the head of public security in the state, said on Twitter that an operation had been launched to capture the people responsible for the killings.
The oil-rich state of Veracruz has been convulsed by gang violence and political corruption scandals for several years.
Lopez Obrador took office in December vowing to reduce violence in Mexico, where more than 200,000 people have been killed since the end of 2006 in brutal turf wars between drug cartels and their clashes with security forces.
After reaching record levels in 2018, murder rates have stayed high, surpassing previous-year levels in the first three months of the new government, official government data shows.
The president was due to visit Veracruz on Sunday, according to an official schedule published before the attack took place.