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01.07.2005 General News

Small-Scale Miner was shot! Surgeon Belies AngloGold Ashanti


Accra, July 1, GNA - Dr Oheneba Owusu-Danso, Senior Medical Officer at the Department of Surgery, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) says Mr Awudu Mohammed, Small-Scale Miner of Sansu, near Obuasi, was shot, thus belying AngloGold Ashanti's claim that a spike pierced him. He said Mr Mohammed presented deep penetrating injury of the abdomen with his intestine almost completely extruded, which must have been caused by a bullet.

"The bullet must have entered the body and gone out. The fact that no pellets or bullet was found embedded in the body does not mean that it was not gunshot that caused the injury," Dr Owusu-Danso told the Ghana News Agency on Friday. "For the time being let us say it is highly suspicious that the injury was caused by gunshot," Dr Owusu-Danso said.

Dr Owusu-Danso was one of the Surgeons, who carried out an emergency operation on Mr Mohammed when he was rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) on Tuesday June 21.

AngloGold Ashanti, in a statement signed by Colonel Steve Oduro-Kwarteng (rtd), Head of Special Services Department of AngloGold Ashanti, on Thursday, claimed Mr Mohammed "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. It was then observed that part of his intestines had gushed out". The Ghana News Agency had reported on Wednesday 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. When the Ghana News Agency visited the victim at the Hospital, he said 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 Police Guard, who had the victim chained to the hospital bed, prevented GNA from continuing with the interview. Giving a background to the incident, the Assemblyman of Sanso Electoral Area, Mr Benjamin Annan said Officers of AngloGold Ashanti Security, Captain Yaro and one Inspector Gyamfi came 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.

Meanwhile, the "Daily Graphic" a Ghanaian national newspaper, reported on page 22 of its Friday July 1 2005 Edition Number 149469: "There are contradicting reports between the Obuasi Police on one hand, and an Assembly Member for Sansu Community and family members on the other, over how a 25-year-old young man Awudu Mohammed, a resident of Sansu in Obuasi, was seriously wounded, with part of his intestines gushing out, on the premises of Anglogold Ashanti, Obuasi Mines. The paper reported; "a medical doctor at KATH, Dr K. Turkson, who is working on Awudu (Mohammed), said he thought Awudu (Mohammed) was shot but he would not provide further information".