Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) — Rising tensions at a South African platinum mine exploded Thursday in grisly violence as police fired on striking miners.
Blood-stained bodies lay strewn about a field in a police response reminiscent of the days of apartheid.
Police have not released a death toll, but a South African Press Association reporter counted 18 corpses. It’s feared more could be dead.
The striking miners were believed to be armed with guns, machetes and sticks, CNN affiliate E-TV reported.
Police fired tear gas and then used a water cannon to disperse the strikers congregating atop a hill. The mine workers retaliated by firing at police, and a storm of gunfire lasted about three minutes, E-TV said.