Police in South Africa say five people are dead and more than 40 have been arrested after an early-morning hostage situation at a church near Johannesburg.
A statement says police and military who responded to reports of a shooting at the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Zuurbekom found four people “shot and burned to death in a car” and a security guard shot in another car. Six other people were injured.
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Police say they rescued men, women and children who had been held hostage and appeared to have been living at the church. The statement doesn’t say how many were rescued.
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Police say more than 30 guns were found and the attack by a group of armed people “may have been motivated by a feud” between church members.
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The national police commissioner says the response by security forces “averted what could have been a more severe bloodbath.”
The statement says among those arrested are members of the police, defence forces and correctional services.
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