An illegal miner has been shot dead by the anti-galamsey taskforce at Wawase in the Ashanti region.
Public Relations Officer of Operation Vanguard, Major Gariba Pabi, who disclosed this around 17:00 GMT personnel from the Ashanti Region on patrol met stone-pelting illegal miners at Wawasi, a community in Obuasi notorious for galamsey.
He said as the task force moved on the illegal miners fired a gun at the patrol, and in a bid to protect themselves, the team fired back to disperse the agitated miners.After the illegal miners had escaped, the task force found that one of the illegal miners had been shot.
The injured illegal miner was given first aid and sent to the hospital but was later pronounced dead by doctors.“We didn’t intend to start this operation with blood. No that is not why we are here. We are here to ensure that illegal mining is stopped and our environment is protected,” said Major Pabi.
Major Pabi revealed that Operation Vanguard — the combined team of military and police personnel tasked with stamping out illegal mining activities in the country – has made many arrests at galamsey hotspots across the country since the deployment.
Major Pabi advised illegal miners to leave the galamsey sites.
“Carry your equipment and leave the sites. We are here to ensure that galamsey is stopped. Don’t try to resist us, don’t try to fire at us, don’t throw stones at us because we are carrying arms, we’ll not keep quiet, we’ll not leave ourselves for you to injure us and it will not be good for you, it will not be good for our operations” he warned.
The deployment of the 400-strong personnel is part of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s heightened resolve to end the menace in the country after a ban on small scale mining failed to deter the miners.