Some South African miners vow to fight to the death

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(AP) – Some miners in South Africa are vowing a fight to the death, a day after 34 striking miners died when police opened fire on them. The gunfire left 78 others wounded.

The wives of some of the miners have been frantically looking for them today. Other wives took the place of their dead and wounded husbands in staging a protest at a platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg. They’re demanding to know why police used automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns on the strikers.

Many of the strikers had been armed with spears, machetes and clubs as they rushed toward the officers. Police have said they opened fire in self-defense. They noted that strikers possessed a pistol taken from a police officer they had beaten to death on Monday.

But video footage indicates that the miners may have been trying to flee tear gas that police had fired at them moments earlier.

At least 10 other people have been killed during a week-long strike, including two police officers battered to death by strikers, and two mine security guards who were burned alive when strikers set their vehicle on fire.

South African President Jacob Zuma has rushed home from a regional summit to deal with the situation.

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