Chad officials initially said as many as 30 people may have died when the mine caved in on Tuesday in Kouri Bougoudi, in Tibesti province, near the Libyan border, an area rife with illicit mining and smugglers.
“There are 37 injured, including 21 seriously,” the second source said. Tibesti is largely lawless and home to numerous gangs and traffickers seeking to profit from a gold rush in the area.
Clashes in January between Arab miners from Libya and miners from Chad’s Ouaddai community left “dozens” dead, according to security and mining sources.
The Chadian government has authorised mining companies to exploit the deposits but rights groups accuse authorities of using Arab fighters to force a takeover of the area.