5th civilian dies in Peru anti-mining protests

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Associated Press

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 5 at 5:32 PM

LIMA, Peru (AP) — A Peruvian regional health director says the death toll has risen to five in this week's violent protests against the country's biggest mining project.

Cajamarca health director Reynaldo Nunez says a fifth civilian died Thursday from a bullet wound suffered two days earlier when a crowd tried to storm a provincial town hall.

Also Thursday, police freed a prominent anti-mining leader they arrested the previous day for allegedly violating restrictions on assembly under a state of emergency decreed Tuesday.

Activist Marco Arana has accused police of beating him after scooping him off a park bench in the northern provincial capital of Cajamarca.

The protesters oppose the $4.8 billion Conga gold mining project, fearing it will hurt their water supplies. The U.S. company Newmont Mining Co. is its majority owner.

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