The Police in the Eastern Region have arrested twenty two people at Asamanma, after clashes there on Thursday left two people dead.
Some illegal miners reportedly attacked the Police who were on operation to stop them from mining in the Birim River.
The Eastern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Nketsia Yeboah, told Citi News that the incident occurred around 11:00am on Thursday.
“On Thursday, the Police Command was directed to go to Asamanma to arrest those who are mining in the River Birim with some equipment imported from China. So our officers and men went there around 11:00am; but when they got to the River bank, the galamsey operators mobilized and blocked their access back to town.”
“In the violent exchanges, two police officers were seriously wounded, two of the galamsey operators were killed, and eight of them were wounded. One of the air-conditioned buses the Police used for the operation was smashed, and ten people including two Police officers were wounded.
ASP Yeboah also hinted that, although the Police were outnumbered by the galamsey operators, they were still able to make some arrests.
“They outnumbered the Police that is why the Police team decided to retreat; but unfortunately they also prevented them from retreating and they started pelting them with stones. We’ve retrieved two catapults, one single barrel gun and 22 of them including the one in POP are now in Police custody,” he added.
Birim River severely polluted by ‘galamsey’
Residents of the Eastern Region risk losing the Birim River to illegal mining. The River is their main source of water treated by the Ghana Water Company for onward distribution.
The Kyebi Water Treatment Plant, which takes its source from the River, has been earmarked for shut down following such activities.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana