Port St Johns becomes a battle zone

2014-03-16 14:56
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Cape Town – The town of Port St Johns in the Eastern Cape turned into a war zone on Wednesday after a shooting match between bank robbers, security guards and South African National Defence Force soldiers broke out.

According to the Sunday Times, the incident happened when a gang of armed robbers shot a security guard who was moving money from a bank to a cash van. The guard however took cover.

Soldiers, dressed in full battle gear, who were in town on an urban warfare exercise heard the shooting and went to assist.  

However, police blame the soldiers for having killed the wounded security guard who they appear to have mistaken as a robber.

The newspaper reported that although live ammunition is not used in such exercises, the soldiers were carrying live rounds in their packs. The defence force says the weapons were loaded with live rounds only after soldiers heard the gunfire and responded to the bank robbery.

Soldiers also shot and killed three robbers.

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