Coal miners barricaded in mine, armed with explosives

Italian coal miners are barricaded inside a coal mine and have armed themselves with explosives to prevent the mine's closure.

Around 100 miners are staging a protest inside Italy's only underground coal mine, in Sardinia, to prevent the government closing it, Reuters reports.

The miners seized around 350 kilos of blasting equipment and barricaded themselves in the Carbosulcis mine last night.

One miner told Reuters the group was "worried that the mine may close. We are afraid for our jobs.

"We are prepared to stay here until we hear a response from the government that secures the future of the mine. We will stay here indefinitely," they said.

The miners have called on the Italian government to diversify the operation into a joint coal mining and carbon capture operation.

This is not the first time European coal miners have barricaded themselves inside their mine.

In June several striking Spanish miners refused to leave their underground coal mine in protest at the government's decision to slash mining subsidies.

The miners spent nearly a month underground.

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