2 activists killed in Gambia in protests against sand mining

June 18, 2018

BANJUL, Gambia (AP) — Gambian police say two environmental activists were killed during protests against a sand mining company as they clashed with paramilitary forces.

The Inspector General of Police said in a statement that clashes erupted early Monday between Gambian forces and activists in the town of Faraba Banta, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital, Banjul.

It said the discord led to the “regrettable death” of two activists and that the use of firearms by security personnel at the protest hadn’t been authorized.

Activists have been calling on the government to close down Julakay sand mining, alleging it is causing environmental damage.

Many residents say the mining destroys their rice fields and farms, threatening their livelihoods.

Police said in the statement they will investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

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