Galamsey operators in the Eastern Region have been warned they would be severely dealt with if they persist in their illegal activities in the Kyebi area.

The Eastern Region Security Council has been on a 48-hour operation seizing equipment of the illegal miners and preventing any of them from mining.

A joint military and police team guarding the area is however said to have been attacked yesterday, allegedly by some of the miners prompting the firing of warning shots yesterday around the Okyehene’s palace.

Eastern Regional Minister Samuel Ofosu Ampofo explained to Joy News it has become necessary to get tough on the miners because of increased devastation of forests, farmlands and especially the Birim River as a result of galamsey operations.

He said about seven suspects have so far been arrested and are in police custody assisting investigations into Monday’s shooting.

The minister said police cum military presence has increased in the area to ward off any attack by the galamsey operators.

The Eastern Region Police PRO, Chief Inspector Yaw Nketia Yeboah said the police are ready to go all out but cautions that the security issues are not the only problem.

In his view the activities of the illegal miners posed serious health hazards as sources of drinking water for many communities were being contaminated.

Five persons said to be among a group calling itself the concerned youth of Kibi are said to have been injured in the shooting incident at the Okyenhene’s Palace yesterday.

Source: Joy News/Ghana