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Tanzanian lawmakers arrested at funeral

Agence France Presse
May 25th, 2011

ARUSHA, May 25 - Tanzanian police said Wednesday they had arrested two lawmakers from the main opposition party Chadema while they attended the funeral of the villagers killed in clashes at a gold mine.

"It is true the two Chadema MPs were arrested on Monday along with other people," said Constantine Massawe, the police chief for the Tarime district in the north west of the country where the North Mara mine is located.

He identified the two arrested as Tundu Lissu and Esther Matiko and said they had used the incident at the mine to disturb public order.

Chadema, which accuses the police of having used "excessive force" against the several hundred villagers who on May 16 raided the North Mara mine, said the two MPs had wanted to "show solidarity with the families who were in mourning."

North Mara is owned by African Barrick Gold, a London Stock Exchange-quoted unit of Canada's Barrick.

The company said seven people died in the clashes. Police put the toll at five.


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