At least nine workers died and 23 others were injured in the attack on a gold mine in northern Peru which led to the arrest of seven attackers, the Interior Ministry announced Saturday evening .
“A group of armed criminals burst into the facilities of the Poderosa mining company, in the province of Pataz, and violently clashed with the company’s security services,” authorities said.
Among the dead were seven guards who tried to repel the assault and two mine workers, killed when the attackers threw explosives into the mine gallery, police said.
During the attack, which lasted approximately 10 hours, the attackers took four workers hostage, whom they then freed while fleeing.
Police were able to arrest seven attackers, but an unknown number of them managed to escape before authorities regained control of the situation.
The prefect of the La Libertad region, where the province of Pataz is located, Carolina Velasco, told RPP radio that the attackers had links to illegal gold mines.
The authorities are investigating to establish the reasons for this attack, during which no theft was committed, according to the press. The preferred avenue is that of a trial which opposes the mining company Poderosa to illegal mines.