15 dead in bar shooting in Soweto, say South African police

Sunday - 10/07/2022 08:23
It's believed more than 1 gunman fired at patrons, police commissioner says
Police and forensic workers inspect the scene of a mass shooting in Soweto, South Africa, on Sunday. (Ihsaan Haffejee/AFP/Getty Images)
Police and forensic workers inspect the scene of a mass shooting in Soweto, South Africa, on Sunday. (Ihsaan Haffejee/AFP/Getty Images)

A mass shooting at a tavern in Johannesburg's Soweto township has killed 15 people and left others in critical condition, according to police.

Police said they are investigating reports that a group of men arrived in a minibus taxi and opened fire on some of the patrons at the bar shortly after midnight Sunday.

Those injured have been taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

The number of cartridges found on the scene indicates that a group of people opened fire in the bar, said Gauteng province police commissioner Lt.-Gen. Elias Mawela.

People gather at the scene of the shooting in Soweto. (Shiraaz Mohamed/The Associated Press)

"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 calibre 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 said.

A woman weeps at the scene of the overnight shooting at a tavern in Soweto, South Africa. (Shiraaz Mohamed/The Associated Press)

The area where the shooting took place was very dark, making it harder to find people who could identify the suspects, he said.

Rifles and a 9-mm pistol were used in the attack, said national police spokesperson Col. Dimakatso Sello.

2nd shooting

In a separate incident, four people were shot dead by unknown gunmen at a tavern in Sweetwaters township in the coastal city of Pietermaritzburg on Saturday night.

According to the police, two men entered the tavern and randomly opened fire on the patrons, killing two people on the scene while two others were confirmed dead at the hospital. Police said 8 other people are receiving treatment in a hospital. The deceased were aged between 30 and 45 and police are investigating charges of murder and attempted murder, police said.

"The team will be working around the clock to track down and bring to book those responsible for this shooting", said Kwazulu-Natal police commissioner Gen. Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

The bar shootings come two weeks after 21 teenagers were found dead in a tavern in the city of East London. The cause of those deaths has not yet been announced by authorities, but the teens were not shot or crushed in a stampede, according to officials.

Author: Editors Desk


 Keywords: South Africa

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