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Mounting anger as Turkey protests at mine tragedy

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Mounting anger as Turkey protests at mine tragedy
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Riot police use water cannons to quell thousands of protesters in Izmir, the nearest large city to Soma, after Turkish unions called a one-day national strike to protest over the mine tragedy.

At least 282 people have been confirmed dead, mostly from carbon monoxide poisoning, and hopes are fading of pulling out any more alive of around 120 people still thought to be inside.

Many protesters are furious at what they see as a sharp decline in working conditions since the formerly state-run mines, including the one in Soma, were privatised.

Several thousand people meanwhile staged a sit-down protest in front of police water canons in Istanbul. Many held banners with slogans reading, “it is not an accident, it is not fate, it is murder” and “our hearts are burning in Soma”.

Around 1,000 people marched on the labour ministry in Ankara. Some wore miners’ helmets, waving banners showing the image of Che Guevara and chanting, “AKP murders” as police looked on.