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HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Police say 15 villagers who were illegally taking tin ore from a mine in northern Vietnam have died in a landslide.

A police officer says the disaster occurred early Friday in Yen Bai province following hours of torrential rain as the villagers were collecting tin ore from a mine operated by a private company. The officer declined to give his name, citing the policy of his department.

The officer says at least four other people were missing, adding that the victims were from the country's mostly poor Hmong ethnic minority group.

Landslides and floods are common in Vietnam, especially during the rainy season.