UPDATE 1-S.Africa police arrest 72 Gold Fields miners

Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:00am EDT

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(Recasts with police statement)

JOHANNESBURG Oct 14 (Reuters) - South African police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to break up a sit-in by protesters at a police station over the weekend and arrested more than 70 miners from a nearby Gold Fields mine, police said.

As many as 600 miners from Gold Fields Kloof mines staged a sit-in at Westonaria police station, about 45 km west of Johannesburg on Friday night, police said in a statement.

After failing to disperse the protest, police said they fired rubber bullets and stun grenades. The crowd responded by breaking windows and causing other damage at the station.

Police said they arrested 72 miners, one of whom was carrying a firearm.

The protesters had arrived on buses earlier in the day to demand the release of 13 jailed miners.

In a separate incident, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters hurling petrol bombs after a march on an Anglo American Platinum mine in Rustenburg turned violent late on Friday. (Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Alison Williams and Pravin Char)

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