Six dead in gold mine clashes on Mali-Guinea border
Six people were killed and several others injured in clashes between goldminers on the Mali-Guinea border, a Guinean security source told AFP on Wednesday.
Both countries have areas rich in gold but are among the world's poorest, driving so-called artisanal miners to search for minerals alone or in small groups with little safety equipment.
"These were Malian goldminers, assisted by Malian gendarmes, who attacked the Guinean goldminers at a mine in the village of Faranokho," leaving two Guineans wounded, a Guinean security source said.
A revenge attack by Guinean villagers killed six people, the source added, specifying those dead were "two Guineans and four Malians, one of them a gendarme".
In Mali, the security and civil protection ministry confirmed that a "group of armed Guinean nationals" had conducted a series of attacks, leaving two dead in the early hours of Monday on the Malian side of the border.
Two more gendarmes were killed late Monday morning in an ambush by the armed men, the ministry said in a statement read out on Malian television.
Bamako and Conakry have both since beefed up security in the area, which is no stranger to this type of dispute.
Guinea's territorial administration ministry said it could not comment until it had a fuller picture of events.