Police find three dead illegal diamond miners in Zimbabwe

Police find bodies of three illegal diamond miners and they look for up to seven other missing people, police spokeswoman says

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

An illegal diamond dealer from Zimbabwe displays diamonds for sale.

Police officers in Zimbabwe found the bodies of three illegal diamond miners and they have been searching for up to seven more missing people, police spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The incident came just a week after Zimbabwean government banned mining operations for many companies in the country.

Zimbabwe's mines minister on Feb. 22 demanded that all nine companies working in the diamond fields in the east of the southern African country near Mozambique cease mining and leave because their licenses had expired.

The bodies were discovered in a mine shaft of Diamond Mining Company in Marange, according to the spokeswoman.

"We have had to call in our sub-aqua unit because the area is waterlogged. We understand there could be up to seven people trapped," said Charity Charamba, the police spokesman.

The Marange diamond area,  400 km (240 miles) east of Harare was the heart of issue due to 200 illegal miners were contained and removed by police and soldiers.

Human rights group claimed that up to 200 people were killed during the removal operation but President Robert Mugabe’s government refuses the charges.

A High court on Monday has allowed the largest diamond mine in the Marange region, Mbada Diamonds to return to the fields and continue its mining operations after standing against the government's decision to halt mining operations.

However, a full trial on whether Mbada will be able to continue to mine, will be started on Wednesday and will be continued on Thursday.

TRTWorld and agencies