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South Africa seeks answers after mine shootings

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Families of workers missing from a mine where 34 people were shot dead in the worst police violence since apartheid on Saturday struggled to discover the fate of their loved ones as the nation sought answers.

Armored cars and police trucks patrolled the area around London-listed Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine while a helicopter circled above the spot where officers on Thursday opened fire on hundreds of workers on a wildcat strike.

More than 1,000 miners gathered nearby, still traumatized by the incident, while others trickled into the mine’s hospital trying to find out if missing loved ones were dead, wounded or in jail.

The crackdown on Thursday left 34 dead, 78 wounded and 259 detained after 10 people were killed in attacks attributed to rivalry between unions during the week-long strike over demands for a wage rise.

A caravan outside the hospital was set up to provide information on the dead and wounded. Hospital security kept journalists from entering, appealing for privacy for the families.

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