South Africa mine riot leaves 13 hurt

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Nine miners and four security guards were injured yesterday when a machete-wielding mob attacked union stewards and security guards opened fire with rubber bullets at an Anglo American Platinum mine in South Africa, police said.

Competition for members between the long-standing National Union of Mineworkers and upstart Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union led to violence and wildcat strikes that killed more than 50 people and closed some mines for weeks last year.

Police killed 34 striking miners at a Lonmin platinum mine, shocking the nation with their apartheid-era tactics.

Yesterday a mob of about 100 people attacked four NUM stewards at an Amplats mine near Rustenburg, police said.

When mine security guards attempted to intervene they were attacked, with four cut by machetes. The guards then fired rubber bullets. Three of the 13 injured are in critical condition.