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5 killed in hostage situation at church in South Africa

A statement says police and military who responded to reports of a shooting at the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Zuurbekom found four people “shot and burned to death in a car” and a security guard shot in another car. Six other people were injured. Police say they rescued men, women and children who had been held hostage and appeared to have been living at the church.

PTI | Johannesburg | Updated: 11-07-2020 17:31 IST | Created: 11-07-2020 17:25 IST
5 killed in hostage situation at church in South Africa
Representative Image Image Credit: Wikimedia

Police in South Africa says five people are dead and more than 40 have been arrested after an early-morning hostage situation at a church near Johannesburg. A statement says police and military who responded to reports of a shooting at the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Zuurbekom found four people "shot and burned to death in a car" and a security guard shot in another car. Six other people were injured.

Police say they rescued men, women, and children who had been held hostage and appeared to have been living at the church. The statement doesn't say how many were rescued. Police say more than 30 guns were found and the attack by a group of armed people "may have been motivated by a feud" between church members.

The national police commissioner says the response by security forces "averted what could have been a more severe bloodbath." The statement says among those arrested are members of the police, defense forces, and correctional services.


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