18 people were shot dead in two bars in Soweto and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. That is what the police said. Many more were injured. The exact background is still unclear.
Shortly after a gun attack in a bar in Soweto that killed 14, South African police reported another attack on a bar in the east of the country, killing four. The crime in Pietermaritzburg happened around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, local police spokesman Nqobile Gwala said on Sunday. Eight other people were injured.
The police spokesman said when a group of people were having a drink together at a bar, a car was parked in front of it. “Two men jumped out of the car, went into the bar and randomly opened fire on the guests.” The fatalities were said to be people between the ages of 30 and 34.
The police in Soweto had previously reported a gun attack on a bar that killed 14 people. Officers were called to the scene of the crime in the Johannesburg suburb around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday night and found twelve bodies with gunshot wounds, police officer Nonhlanhla Kubheka told the AFP news agency.
Of the eleven people who were taken to the hospital, two later succumbed to their injuries. It was initially unclear who carried out the attack. “They arrived and shot at people who were enjoying themselves,” Kubheka said. Nobody has been arrested so far.
Soweto is the largest township of Johannesburg. The bar under attack is located in Soweto’s Orlando Borough.
Murders and other violent crimes have increased sharply in South Africa this year, South Africa’s Police Minister Bheki Cele said in early June. According to police statistics, 6,083 people were killed between January and March – a good 22 percent more than in the same period last year.