South Africa: Gunmen reportedly kill 19 people in ‘random’ bar shootings

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Gunmen reportedly killed 19 people in two random shootings within hours of each other at taverns in South Africa.

The police, who confirmed this stated the attackers were armed with rifles and pistols while they opened fire in the Orlando East bar in the township of Soweto in the early hours of Sunday, killing 15 people and wounding nine.

“You can see by the way the bullet cartridges are cast around that they were just shooting randomly,” said Elias Mawela, police commissioner for Gauteng province.

Meanwhile, police confirmed a second random shooting hours earlier, at around 8.30pm (8.30am Singapore time) on Saturday, in a tavern in Pietermaritzburg, 500 km southeast of Soweto, which saw four people killed and eight wounded.

Officers said they did not believe the two shootings were linked. The killers from both incidents are on the run, according to police, who said it was not clear how many attackers were involved in either shooting.

South Africa, is said to be one of the world’s most violent countries with 20,000 people murdered every year, one of the highest per-capita murder rates globally.