Some unknown gunmen stormed and killed six people in an attack on a police station in a small South African town on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, stealing quantities of weapons and a vehicle in what police were treating as a robbery case.
Five police officers and an off-duty soldier were killed in the attack in Nqcobo, about 800 km southeast of Johannesburg, Vishnu Naidoo, the police spokesman said.
“This incident happened in the early hours of the morning when armed robbers, or what we suspect is armed robbers, entered the station, randomly opened fire on the police officers on duty,” Naidoo told eNCA news channel.
Naidoo said the gunmen also shot a bystander who turned out to be an off-duty soldier as they fled in a stolen police vehicle.
Fikile Mbalula, South Africa’s police minister, called the attack a national tragedy.
“The killing of our law enforcement officers robs us of dedicated servants of our people whose only sin was to serve and protect,” Mbalula said on Twitter.
Shocked and outraged by the reported killings of 5 police officers at eNgcobo in Eastern Cape. The killing of our law enforcement officers robs us of dedicated servants of our people whose only sin was to serve and protect.
Sad and tragic loss to their families.
— Min of Police: Mr Fearfokkol (@MbalulaFikile) February 21, 2018
South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world.
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