Ten robbers armed with an assault rifle and slingshots vanished with 400 kilograms of concentrated diamond ore potentially worth millions of dollars from the controversial Marange diamond field in Zimbabwe's eastern Manicaland province.
The state-run Herald newspaper reported that the robbers, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and slingshots pounced on a disabled Marange Resources truck inside the diamond field several days ago, overpowered security guards and vanished with their loot.
The paper quoted Manicaland Assistant Police Commissioner David Mahonya as saying a crack police unit focused on minerals is investigating the crime.
The Marange field is protected by security forces and private guards.
Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire said he was not aware of the reported armed robbery and believed that such an incident could only be an inside job.
Economic commentator Rejoice Ngwenya said it was "unbelievable" that robbers could obtain access to a truck within the diamond field without inside knowledge.