The Polisario mercenaries, who are at bay, shoot at everything that moves. Their latest feat of arms took place Sunday evening when they chased Mauritanian gold miners at Gleibatt El Voul, some 200 kilometers north of Zouerate, in Mauritania.
Two Mauritanian miners died after their vehicle overturned as they tried to speed up to escape the Polisario elements who were purchasing them.
A third person was injured in the accident and evacuated to Zouerate Hospital.
The victims were part of a group of Mauritanians who were looking for gold.
The Polisario fighters suddenly arrived at the scene, forcing the miners to flee at dizzying speeds aboard their 4X4 vehicles.
Although the miners were leaving the scene, the mercenaries chased them at high speed, which caused the accident.
According to press reports, the mercenaries also seized a dozen vehicles belonging to the miners and demanded the payment of “fines” to hand them back to their owners.
The artisanal mining of gold in northern Mauritania is attracting more and more people, although the job is quite dangerous, especially in northeastern Mauritania, bordering Algeria. The area is declared a defense zone and is in principle forbidden to civilian activities.
However, despite the tight surveillance on both sides of the border, some miners succeed to enter the area. In recent months, Algerian authorities arrested a number of Mauritanian gold miners and handed them over to Nouakchott.
Unfortunately, the Sunday incident was fatal and this slippage of the Polisario mercenaries, who are already at bay, will surely exacerbate the already strained relations between the new Mauritanian government and the separatist front.