Wednesday, June 28, 2006


South African police have found an arms cache in a Johannesburg house where 12 people died in a shoot-out on Sunday. Four officers and eight crime suspects died after police followed suspects from an armed robbery at a suburban supermarket, to the city centre. Police say they were "ambushed" at a house in the Jeppestown district, where the suspects are thought to have lived.
Of the 14 suspects arrested on Sunday, three were freed later. The rest are expected in court on Tuesday.

"We found a large amount of weaponry, high calibre weaponry including AK-47s," police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao told the South African Press Association on Monday. Capt Adriao said gang members had ambushed the police when they arrived at the house. "They waited for the police to come into the house before opening fire ... It was a real massacre," he said. The three who were later released were living next door and were not linked to the shoot-out, Capt Adriao said.

The head of police for Gauteng province - which includes Johannesburg - said: "The robbers that were dealt with today were causing havoc in the whole province." Perumal Naidoo added that he was "proud of the four policemen who paid with their lives to ensure that Gauteng will always be safe". The BBC's Peter Biles in Johannesburg says South Africans are no strangers to violent crime but even by local standards, this latest incident has caused alarm.


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