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Twelve miners were killed and eight rescued after an explosion in a coal mine in south-western Pakistan, officials said on Wednesday.

“The rescue operation has been just completed,” said Balochistan province’s chief inspector of mines, Abdul Ghani Baloch, on Wednesday morning.

He said that 20 miners had been inside the mine when a methane gas explosion took place overnight.

He added that rescue teams recovered 12 bodies while the survivors had been taken to hospital.

Coal deposits are found in the western areas of Pakistan that sit near the Afghan border and mine accidents are common, mainly due to gas build-ups.

Mine workers have complained that a lack of safety gear and poor working conditions are the key causes of frequent accidents, labour union officials have said in the past.

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