-The initiative of a joint task force of the army to fight galamsey dubbed ‘Operation Vanguard’ has met with resistance
-The situation was an altercation with some illegal miners in the Ashanti Region
-The impasse led to one illegal miner losing his life
The joint security personnel joint force which was commissioned not long ago to help clamp down the activities of illegal miners in the country yesterday clashed with some illegal miners.
Speaking in an interview, the Public Relations Officer of Operation Vanguard, Major Gariba Pabi indicated that around 5 PM on Sunday, some members of the operation were on a routine patrol in Wawasi, a suburb of Obuasi believed to be noted for habitual galamsey activities. The illegal miners upon setting eyes on the patrol team started pelting them with stones.
The task force in a bid to round them up as they drew closer were fired upon and in a bid to protect themselves, returned fire to disperse the raging illegal miners. After the crowd had been successfully scared-off, the task force noticed that one of the illegal miners had been hit by a bullet.
The task force speedily administered first aid to the wounded illegal miner and rushed him to the hospital for further assistance. Unfortunantely, he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Major Gariba indicated that the situation was very unfortunate since their presence was not to engage in any combat with illegal miners but to clamp down on their activities. He added that and put on record that they in no way intended to start their duty with the shedding on blood but would do everything to ensure the continued protection of the environment.
The Public Relations Officer of Operation Vanguard went on to say that the rest of the illegal miners who were involved in the altercation will be apprehended and arrested.
The task force has been commissioned by the government to help stop illegal mining. However, some illegal miners lamented the fact that no alternative avenues of employment have yet been provided to deter them from the age-old profession.
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