NATION IN SHOCK: South Africa has been thrown into tumult after police opened fire on protesting miners, killing 34 and wounding 78. Frantic wives searched for missing loved ones, President Jacob Zuma rushed home from a regional summit and some miners vowed a fight to the death.

PICKET LINE: Wives of miners at the Lonmin platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg took the place of dead and wounded husbands on Friday. Instead of asking for higher wages as the miners had done, the women demanded to know why police had opened fire with automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns on the strikers, many of whom had been armed with spears, machetes and clubs.

POLICE ACTION: Police insisted that they acted in self-defense, noting that strikers even possessed a pistol taken from a police officer they had beaten to death on Monday. National police Chief Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega said it was a dark day for South Africa and that it was not a time for blame. However, many people were comparing the shootings to apartheid-era state violence.