Five killed by cops in KZN gun battle

2016-04-04 13:00
 (File, Supplied to News24)

(File, Supplied to News24)

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Durban - Five gunmen were killed in a series of firefights with tactical police in a sting operation near Estcourt in central KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday night.

It is understood that members of the police’s Special Task Force had deployed to the area after members of the Hawks and Crime Intelligence Unit received information of a possible robbery.

A source with knowledge of the incident, who could not be named, said that officers had been given the description of two vehicles that the gunmen would allegedly use in the heist.

"For the last six months, members from Durban Hawks and Crime Intelligence have been investigating a group of robbers involved in armed robberies in KZN."

The source said that shortly before midnight officers got wind that a cash and carry had been robbed.

"Members from Hawks, CI, Task Force and Durban Dog Unit proceeded to Estcourt. They decided to wait on the R103 to intercept the suspects. The suspects came past them in a silver Toyota bakkie and white Quantum mini bus. A chase ensued, whereafter the suspects fired at the members," he said.

"The members returned fire. After a short chase, the Quantum stopped and the suspects jumped out of the vehicle. A shoot-out ensued and three suspects were shot dead," the source added.

As bullets flew, the remaining suspects ran into thick bush, with police officers on their heels.

"About 2km further in the mountains, there was another shoot-out and a further two suspects were shot dead. One task force member was wounded and taken to hospital. He is in a stable condition," the source said.

One R5, one AK47 and three pistols were recovered, as well as two police radios. A large quantity of cigarettes and cellphone vouchers were recovered in the Toyota Quantum.

News24 approached KwaZulu-Natal police spokespersons for comment, who referred questions to the Hawks.

The Hawks had not responded to questions at the time of publishing. 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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