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(Photo: Ihsaan Haffejee/AFP/Getty Images)

South Africa: 10 family members killed in mass shooting

April 21, 2023
(Photo: Ihsaan Haffejee/AFP/Getty Images)

(CNN) — Ten members from the same family, including seven women and three men, were killed by gunmen Friday in the city of Pietermaritzburg, in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province of South Africa, police said Friday.

“According to initial police reports, unknown gunmen stormed a Pietermaritzburg homestead and ambushed the family,” the South African Ministry of Police said in a statement Friday.

In an updated statement, the police ministry said a 13-year-old boy was among those killed by the gunmen.

The mayor of the area told local media that they needed to bolster capacity of local police stations.

National police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe told CNN some arrests have been made.

“Two suspects (have been) arrested, one dead, another fled the scene. Police are on a manhunt,” she said, adding that three firearms were recovered from the suspects during a shootout.

South Africa has been rocked by several mass shootings in recent months — some, say police, are related to taxi business violence while others appear to be linked to drug cartels.

There has been no motive yet suggested for Friday’s shooting.

South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world, according to police statistics. The rates have been increasing sharply after the temporary lull during the most severe period of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

At least 15 people died after a shooting at a bar in the township of Soweto last July. Four other people were killed in a separate shooting incident in a bar in Pietermaritzburg on the same evening.

The country’s Police Minister, Bheki Cele, is visiting the crime scene of the recent shooting Friday with the top management team of the South African Police Service (SAPS) led by National Commissioner, Fannie Masemola, the statement said.

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