Venezuela Government: soldiers kill 18 illegal gold miners

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Soldiers clashed with illegal gold miners in southern Venezuela at the weekend, killing 18 people in a region notorious for violence and gang rivalries.

Bolivar state Governor Justo Noguera said a military unit had fought off an attack, adding that “An investigation is underway,” to unveil the activities of illegal gold miners and to find a lasting solution.

Reported says 17 men and one woman died in the incident in an area known for gold and diamond mining adding that clashes over illegal mines are common in the remote, mineral-rich area near the border of Guyana, with at least 17 people killed in a gang feud there in 2016.

That year, President Nicolas Maduro declared the area a strategic priority, naming it the Mining Arc and declaring war on the hundreds of illegal miners from Venezuela and neighboring Brazil who try to make a living there.

The report also says the army captured guns and explosives during their operation.

 

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