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01.07.2005 General News

AngloGold Ashanti denies shooting incident

Chronicle

AngloGold Ashanti, the second largest miner in the world has denied media reports that their security shot one Mohammed Awudu for trespassing on its Obuasi concession.

Speaking in an interview with the Business Chronicle in Accra yesterday, the Group Manager, Corporate Community Affairs, Mr. John Owusu said Mohammed would have died if a bullet had hit him in his tummy.

Narrating the events that transpired before the incident, Mr. John Owusu said, at 9:15 pm on June 20 this year, the Sansu Reaction Team received a report that some intruders were removing their plastic felt material from the STP arsenic dam site.

The team rushed there and managed to retrieve the felt material from the intruders after a few warning shots from the duty Policeman before the thieves bolted through a big hole they had created in the fence wall.

He disclosed that at 11:11pm, it was again reported that the intruders had come back to the arsenic dam site. The reaction team, together with the Policeman on duty, again went to the site by passing through the opening created in the fence wall by the intruders. Three of the intruders who were armed with cutlasses, attempted to attack the security guards as they usually do. The Policeman again fired warning shots before the intruders decided to run away. “How can a bullet hit somebody's tummy if the bullet is fired from the person's back?” he asked.

The Group Manager said two of the intruders managed to climb over the metal gate, as that was the only way out. He said the third intruder, Mohammed Awudu was hurt in the tummy by the spikes on the gate. “The third intruder, in attempt to climb over the metal gate, was wounded in the tummy by the spikes on top of the metal gate. He fell outside the gate and could not move again,” he added.

Mr. John Owusu stressed it was then observed that part of his intestines had gushed out. “He was rushed to the AGA Hospital around 11:40pm.”

At the hospital, the Group Manager said the surgeon was not in town, so after giving the first aid treatment and putting him on drips, the duty officials decided that he was to be sent to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi for the necessary surgery. “He was thus sent to Kumasi about 40 minutes after twelve.” The Divisional Police Commander was immediately informed.

According to Mr. Owusu, the next morning saw a combined team of the House Safety and Sanitation Department (HSSD), Special Services Department (SSD) Investigations, the Police and Public Relations Officer visiting the scene of incident, and taking some pictures. The SSD and Police Investigation team followed to see the suspect victim at the Komfo Anokye Hospital.

A section of the media had carried the story that AngloGold Ashanti Security on Tuesday June 21 carried out its threat to shoot small-scale gold miners on sight and shot Mr. Awudu Mohammed, who had entered the Company's concession in Obuasi. Mohammed is on admission at “Ward B One” of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, after undergoing a surgical operation to have the bullet removed from his body.

Mr. Awudu had told reporters that he had entered the concession with some people to look for gold but the AngloGold Ashanti Security personnel shot him while attempting to scale a fence to run away.

The Assemblyman of the Sanso Electoral Area, Mr. Benjamin Annan said Officers of AngloGold Ashanti Security, Captain Yaro and one Inspector Gyamfi had come to him on Thursday, June 16 and asked him to warn his people that AngloGold Ashanti would shoot on sight small-scale gold miners, who entered their concession in Obuasi.

He said on Tuesday June 21, AngloGold Ashanti Security carried out their threat and shot Mr Mohammed, who had entered their concession. He said the AngloGold Ashanti Security at first denied shooting the victim and alleged that he was an armed robber.

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