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 14 dead in mass shooting at bar near South Africa's Johannesburg

Headlines 16:36 10 Jul, 2022

Mawela said 11 others were taken to hospital with wounds but two later died

 14 dead in mass shooting at bar near South Africa's Johannesburg

At least 14 people have been killed in a mass shooting at a bar at the Soweto township near Johannesburg, police said Sunday, Qazet.az reports.

Police Lt. Elias Mawela, the Gauteng police commissioner, said nine people were also being treated at hospitals for gun wounds.

"We were called in the early hours of the morning, around 12:30 a.m. (10:30 p.m. GMT)," said Lt. Mawela after the shooting overnight Saturday and Sunday.

"When we arrived on the scene, 12 people were confirmed dead," he said.

Mawela said 11 others were taken to hospital with wounds but two later died, raising the toll to 14.

Mawela said the incident happened shortly after midnight when gunmen opened fire on revelers who were enjoying themselves at a club in the Nomzamo informal settlement in Orlando.

"A group of men armed with rifles and 9 mm pistols entered the tavern and started shooting randomly at the patrons who were sitting inside," a police statement said.

"For now, we don't have details on the motive of the attack but as investigations progress, we are hoping we will get more information," he told local reporters at the scene.

He said the attackers used high-caliber weapons and were apparently shooting randomly.

The incident comes two weeks after the tragic deaths of 22 young people at a nightclub in the city of East London in the Eastern Cape province.

The bar is in the Orlando district of Soweto, Johannesburg's largest township, southwest of the city.

Police said a hunt was on to find the perpetrators.

The attack comes on the heels of June 8, 2022, marking the one-year anniversary of the outbreak of deadly rioting triggered by the jailing of former President Jacob Zuma for ignoring a corruption inquiry.

Violence spread through Zuma's home province KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the two most populous provinces which together account for half of South Africa's economic output, claiming more than 300 lives.

The violence escalated into the worst unrest since the end of apartheid, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa to label it an attempted "insurrection."