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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Rail operations that transport coal to South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) have been halted because of violent community protests, state-run logistics group Transnet said on Thursday.

"Transnet has experienced interruptions to operations on the Richards Bay Coal Line as a result of violent community protests ... The protests relate to community demands for jobs and business opportunities," Transnet said in a statement.

RBCT, which moves coal on behalf of producers and shareholders such as Exxaro and Anglo American, exported 72.6 million tonnes of coal last year.

(Reporting by Ed Stoddard; Editing by James Macharia)

Reuters