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Chinese Mining Officials Shoot a Dozen Miners in Zambia

Two Chinese mining officials have been charged with attempted murder in Zambia. The Chinese mining bosses allegedly shot a dozen miners in what is being called a pay dispute. Workers were protesting against poor working conditions at the Collum coal mine in southern Sinazongwe province in Zambia.

Eleven of the mining workers were admitted to a hospital with wounds on the stomach, hands and legs. Two of them are still in a critical condition. Police has arrested the two Chinese mining executives.

In Beijing on Tuesday, a Foreign Ministry official, Ma Zhaoxu said that the managers in Zambia had mistakenly hurt several local workers. Oliver Pelete, the district commissioner for Sinazongwe has said that the workers have been paid the money which sparked the protest on Friday.

However the incident at the mine has fuelled demands for curbing China's overwhelming influence and considerable mine investments in the country. China has invested close to $3 billion in the Zambian economy, according to current government figures.

An opposition party, the Patriotic Front is campaigning for elections next year with the agenda of restricting Chinese investment in Zambia until conditions are improved. The PF's leader Michel Sata is known for his combatative stance.

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