5 killed, dozens of firearms seized in hostage situation & violent shootout at South African church (PHOTOS)
Multiple police officers and members of South Africa’s defense forces have been deployed to deal with a hostage drama that saw at least five people killed and 30 arrested in the small town of Zuurbekom on Saturday.
A group of gunmen broke into the International Pentecost Holiness Church earlier in the day, attacking people inside, national police spokesman Vish Naidoo told local media. The gun-wielding men “were coming to take over the premises,” the police official suggested, revealing some harrowing details of the attack.
The assault on the church saw four people shot and burnt to death in a car, Naidoo said. The fifth victim, a security guard, was shot dead in his vehicle. The armed gang had apparently taken hostages inside the church.
Authorities responded to the high-risk call shortly afterwards, dispatching police rapid response teams and sending in army reinforcements. The first responders managed to handle the crisis, detaining 30 suspects and seizing as many as 25 firearms, police are reporting.
#sapsGP Early hours this morning #SAPS was alerted to a hostage situation & shooting @ International Pentcost Holiness Church, Zuurbekom, 30 suspects arrested & seized more than 25 firearms. 5 fatalities are confirmed. The scene is still active with SAPS Hostage Negotiators. TM pic.twitter.com/5sMjYkYFjg
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) July 11, 2020
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