Winterton woken by ATM bombers

2011-06-07 00:00

AN ATM bomb blast in Winterton, northern KwaZulu-Natal, led to bullets being sprayed at a group of police officers as they responded to the loud explosion in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The blast left pieces of the destroyed ATM strewn in its vicinity, while other parts blocked the small town’s main street, Springfield Street, until about 2.30 pm.

Police officers from the nearby police station arrived at the scene before the dust could settle.

“However, they had to dive for cover as the suspects fired bullets at them using AK47s, R5s and 9 mm pistols. The criminals then drove away with a double cab,” a businessman, who lives in a house near the ATM, said.

Sources said it is unclear whether the attackers managed to make off with any cash.

The damaged ATM belongs to Absa, and was situated outside the OK Minimark shop in Springfield Street.

“Pieces of ATM were all over the area and a shelter, which covered the ATM, flew and landed on the town’s main street. Things were left in disarray.

“Police closed off Springfield Street and vehicles were diverted to other roads. As I’m talking to you, police have left the scene and are being cleaned up,” the businessman told The Witness at about 12.30 pm.

He said he was awakened by the bomb blast.

“Winterton police station commander Captain van Wyk came here very quickly, with the backing of his officers. They were shot at, but no one was injured. Other police arrived from as far as Pietermaritzburg.

“In the end they handled the situation very well,” said the business owner.

Attempts to confirm the incident with police spokesperson Lieutenant Vincent Mdunge were unsuccessful. Mdunge had not responded with a comment by the time of going to press.

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