Quechua Indians in Bolivia's southern highlands have seized three more local employees of a Canadian mining company in a dispute over what may be one of the South America country's biggest silver deposits.
A total of five employees of South American Silver have now been detained by people from the Quechua community of Mallku Khota in the past week. Company spokesman Gonzalo Gutierrez says the three were taken by force Monday from a mining camp.
The Indians say they are worried about environmental damage and are demanding the company halt exploration of what it calls one of the world's largest undeveloped deposits of silver, indium and gallium. South American Silver says it includes 140 million ounces of silver.
Bolivia's government says it has dispatched 100 additional police to the area.