The following dispatch is based on information arriving from Poland.
New details emerged yesterday regarding the attack by security forces at the Wujek mine last Thursday, in which the government reported that seven miners were killed.
Eyewitness accounts said a pitched battle broke out when security forces mounted an all-out assault that included 34 tanks. The attack began when two tanks broke through a wall surrounding the mine and into a courtyard in front of one of the administration buildings. Following them were armored trucks with roof-mounted water cannon and bullet-proof glass.
Fire fighters manned the water cannon. They later said that they were forced at gunpoint to participate in the attack.
As the water cannon fired in an attempt to disperse "hundreds of miners," special riot police charged through the gaping hole, the witnesses reported. The miners attacked the tanks with sharpened rods, miners drills and molotov cocktails. One tank had its tread severed by a drill.
Four miners were killed by machine-gun fire from a tank, and two others were blasted off the top of the wall, from which they were attempting to drop segments of railroad track onto their attackers, the witnesses said.
As the fire fighters were leaving the area, they saw miners erecting crosses with miners lamps on them to their fallen colleagues. They believe that the number of dead was more than the seven reported by the government.
The official radio, when announcing the violence last week, said the security forces had acted in self-defense. It reported that 41 government forces had been injured in the clash.