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Peru blows up illegal mining machinery

Updated: 2014-04-30 07:34
By Associated Press in Huepetuhe, Peru ( China Daily)

In a surprise raid, about 1,500 police and troops blasted $20 million worth of heavy machinery with dynamite as Peru's government throttled up a crackdown on illegal gold mining that has badly scarred the ecologically rich southeastern jungle region of Madre de Dios.

The Monday operation was the first such action since a nationwide ban on illegal mining took effect April 19. Security forces accompanied by prosecutors blew up backhoes, generators and water pumps in the Huepetuhe district, a mining boomtown dating back to the 1980s that includes two entire streets of brothels and many more of machine shops.

Some adjacent buildings caught fire from explosions witnessed by an Associated Press photographer, but there were no reports of injuries. Police and soldiers cleared out adjoining camps first.

Peru blows up illegal mining machinery

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