Cops wounded during shoot-out with robbers

2014-12-02 17:46

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Johannesburg - Two police officers were shot and wounded when they arrived at a Witbank petrol station during a robbery, Mpumalanga police said on Tuesday.

"Middelburg flying squad members went to refuel their marked police vehicle when unknowingly [they] interrupted gunmen trying to blow up an automated teller machine inside the filling station's shop," police spokesperson Selvy Mohlala said.

Several men armed with assault rifles opened fire on the police vehicle on Monday morning. Two of the four police officers in the car were wounded. The robbers took one officer's pistol and cash from the shop register.

"The police managed to return fire which prompted the assailants to flee the scene in a vehicle that looked like an Audi, leaving behind their accomplice who was hiding inside the shop," said Mohlala.

The man was arrested and found in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The wounded officers were taken to hospital, while the police vehicle was riddled with bullets.

The 42-year-old arrested man would appear in the Witbank Magistrate's Court soon. He faces charges of business robbery, four counts of attempted murder, possession of explosives, malicious damage to property, and possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Manhunt

A manhunt for the remaining robbers is under way.

Provincial police commissioner Major General Meshack Nogwanya said he was concerned about criminals' disregard for police officers' lives.

"I applaud the members, even though they were ambushed they managed to apply their survival tactics against the armed ATM bombers... our members took the bull by the horns and fought back."
Read more on:    mbombela  |  crime

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