Soweto, Pietermaritzburg, Katlehong mass shootings: Several dead in three incidents in South Africa
- A shhoting in a tavern in Johannesburg's Soweto township killed ar least 14
- In Katlehong's Mputlane Inn Tavern, two were killed
- In Pietermaritzburg, four died and eight were rushed to the hospital
Two mass shootings in South Africa bars around midnight Sunday killed at least 18 people, authorities said. Another incident in Katlehong's Mputlane Inn Tavern claimed two lives.
A tavern in Johannesburg's Soweto township saw at least 14 killed and three in critical condition after a group of men open fired on Saturday night. The police said that the group arrived in a minibus taxi and shot at some of the patrons at the bar. Investigation is ongoing.
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The three critically injured and one other person wounded have been taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
The number of cartridges found on the scene indicated it was a group of people who shot at the patrons, said Gauteng province police commissioner Lt. Gen. Elias Mawela.
“The primary investigation suggests that these people were enjoying themselves here, in a licensed tavern operating within the right hours," Mawela told The Associated Press.
“All of a sudden they heard some gunshots, that is when people tried to run out of the tavern. We don’t have the full details at the moment of what is the motive, and why they were targeting these people," he said.
“You can see that a high caliber firearm was used and it was shooting randomly. You can see that every one of those people were struggling to get out of the tavern,” Mawela told The Associated Press.
In Pietermaritzburg, which is the capital and second-largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, four people were shot and killed at around 8.30 PM on Saturday. Eight more were rushed to hospital, the Mirror reports.
In Katlehong's Mputlane Inn Tavern, two were killed after four unknown gunmen allegedly fired shots in the direction of a snooker table. As per eNews Channel Africa (enca), they demanded a firearm and began shooting randomly at patrons.
A total of six people were shot. Two died and as many were rushed to the hospital, the report adds.
There is no confirmation that the three incidents were interlinked. Names of the victims and shooters have not been revealed yet. The police are investigating the incidents.
The mass shootings took place weeks after 22 young people, aged between 13 and 17, mysteriously died in the Enyobeni tavern. Pathologists are studying the cause of death from blood samples. A stampede has been ruled out because the victims' bodies did not show serious injuries, said police.