KZN top cop: 'Officers will not hesitate to defend themselves when attacked'

2018-03-01 17:48

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Durban – KwaZulu-Natal's top cop has issued a stern warning that police will not hesitate to "defend themselves" if they come under attack.

"Our police officers always come under attack when approaching armed suspects and that cannot be tolerated. The police will defend themselves if attacked by these heavily-armed suspects. It is obvious that these criminals have no mercy and shoot anyone that comes in their way," Major General Bheki Langa said on Thursday.

He was speaking after an attack on officers that left two suspects and one civilian dead, following an ATM bombing at a shopping centre in Madadeni on Wednesday evening.

READ: Bheki Cele: 'We can't continue to bury police officers'

Police immediately responded to the explosion, according to police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane.

"A shootout between the police and the criminals ensued. During the shooting, it is alleged that three bystanders were shot and wounded, and were taken to hospital for treatment, where one of them passed away."

He said the suspected ATM bombers jumped into a getaway vehicle towards Utrecht Road.

Police continued their chase and were joined by reinforcements from neighbouring police units, he added.

"It is alleged that, while police officers attempted to stop the same vehicle along Utrecht Road, the suspects [shot at] police. No one was injured and the suspects managed to escape again, proceeding towards KwaMdakane area near Dannhauser."

'Firing shots at police'

In KwaMdakane, police surrounded a homestead where the suspects were hiding.

"As police approached the homestead, they came under attack again. The suspects allegedly fired shots at police. During the exchange of gunfire, two suspects were fatally wounded," Zwane said.

He said three firearms, a R5 rifle, an AK47 rifle and a pistol were recovered from the scene.

Cases of armed robbery, murder, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition were opened for further investigation.

"A manhunt is under way for those suspects who managed to escape during the shootout," he said.

Ngcobo Police Station in the Eastern Cape made national headlines when a gang stormed the station before killing five police officers and a soldier.

Read more on:    police  |  saps  |  durban  |  crimes

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