CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- South Africa's bishops condemned the killings at a platinum mine in Marikana and called for a judicial inquiry into the circumstances that led to the violence.
Thirty-four people died and 78 were injured Thursday when police opened fire on striking miners who, armed with machetes and homemade spears, were gathered on a rocky outcrop at the mine, 60 miles northwest of Johannesburg.
Another 10 people, including two policemen, had already been killed in violence at the mine since the start of an illegal strike Aug. 10.
"The senseless loss of life, especially through wanton violence, is always a tragedy and needs to be condemned in the strongest terms," the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference said Friday in a statement.
"There are a lot of questions and not many answers," Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg said Friday in a telephone interview. The mine is located in his diocese.