At least 31 people died Saturday in a mudslide at an illegal gold mine in Burkina Faso, state-run radio said.
Miners dug through the mud to try to rescue survivors and pull out bodies in the mining village of Boussoukoula in southwest Burkina Faso, state radio said. Heavy rains were blamed for the landslide.
The accident comes after a June government order for unofficial mines to close until Sept. 30 because of the risk of accidents during the rainy season, when hastily dug tunnels can easily collapse.
The government estimates 200,000 miners work at unregulated gold mines, risking their lives by descending deep mine shafts for gold to eke out a meager living.
Unlike large industrial mines, they are not registered with authorities. Because there are thousands of such mines in West Africa, officials do little to enforce safety regulations.
Police believe bombings linked
A series of pre-dawn bombings today killed or wounded at least four people in a restive region of western China, state media said.
The bombings occurred amid tightened security after an attack here last week left 16 border police dead and 15 others wounded in the Muslim region of Xinjiang.
Police suspect that those killed or injured in today’s explosions were behind the bombings which struck Kuqa county in the south of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The agency said witnesses reported seeing flashes of fire and heard gunshots following the explosions.
Xinhua said local military sources confirmed the incident and said they have deployed forces to the area, which was also sealed off by police.
Leaders step up impeachment talk
Pakistan’s ruling coalition has called a session of the National Assembly on Monday after vowing to oust U.S.-backed President Pervez Musharraf, a party spokesman said.
“This is the start of the impeachment process,” Farhatullah Babar said Saturday.
The coalition, which swept to power after trouncing Musharraf’s allies in February elections, announced Thursday it would seek to impeach the former army strongman.
Babar said the coalition would introduce a resolution to initiate impeachment proceedings. That requires signatures of half of the lawmakers in either the lower house of parliament – the National Assembly – or upper house – the Senate.
If they achieve that, the president, a longtime ally of the U.S. in its war on terror, would have the right to defend himself before parliament against the charges. Stripping Musharraf of the presidency would then require a two-thirds majority vote of all lawmakers.