S.Africa frees miners after murder charges shelved

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South Africa released the first of 270 miners detained more than two weeks ago after police shot dead 34 of their colleagues in a bid to break up a wildcat strike at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine.

The men were charged last week under an obscure apartheid-era security law with murdering their fellow miners, although state prosecutors withdrew the charges at the weekend following a public outcry.

The August 16 shootings were the deadliest security incident since the end of white-minority rule in 1994, Reuters reports.