Run for border ends in dramatic gun-battle

2015-08-06 16:11
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Durban - A dramatic chase and gun-battle that played out on the Mozambican border left one alleged robber critically wounded on Thursday.  

The shooting was the culmination of a series of events that began in the rural hamlet of KwaHlabisa several hours before.

According to a source with intimate knowledge of the incident, who could not be named as he is not authorised to speak to the press, a gang of armed men stormed a house and held a family at gunpoint.

It is understood during the course of the robbery, the men raped one of the women in the house, before taking another hostage and fleeing in the family’s Jeep Cherokee.

The robbers are accused of then throwing their hostage from the moving vehicle as they reached the outskirts of town before heading north towards the Kosi Bay border post with Mozambique.  

Her condition is currently unknown.

The source added once the alarm was raised, police and vehicle tracking officers sprang to action and threw out a wide dragnet for the fleeing gunmen.

“Road blocks were established and we notified the Empangeni Dog Unit, border police, police airwing and the [South African National Defence Force] border guard as well as tracking units,” the source said.

“They were spotted by police officers about 10km from the border and a chase ensued, at which time the suspects fired on the officers. They eventually abandoned the stolen car and fled into the bush.”

This is prompted an aerial search by the police helicopter and ground units fanned out in the dense brush.

The source said the suspects were spotted from the helicopter and by soldiers.

“One of the suspects pointed a pistol at the soldiers, who ended up wounding him in the stomach,” he said.

The man remains in a stable condition in an area hospital while his cohort fled into the Pongola River and remained at large.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane confirmed a vehicle had been stolen from Hlabisa and the suspects had fired at police.

Read more on:    mozambique  |  southern africa  |  crime

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