Hostages freed after five people were killed in church attack in South Africa

Five killed in attack on South African church, hostages freed
Five killed in attack on South African church, hostages freed
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JOHANNESBURG (9News Nigeria) – Five people were killed in an attack on a church west of Johannesburg in the early hours of Saturday, South African police said, with some of the attackers taking hostages who were later freed.

Five killed in attack on South African church, hostages freed
Five killed in attack on South African church, hostages freed

Police arrested around 40 people and seized 40 firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns, related to the attack on the International Pentecost Holiness Church in Zuurbekom, police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo told the eNCA television station.

Five killed in attack on South African church, hostages freed - Police
South African police in a file photo. January 31, 2019. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Police earlier posted pictures of some of the confiscated weapons on Twitter, saying they were dealing with a “hostage situation and shooting”.

One potential motive for the attack is a power struggle at the church between rival factions, local media reported.

Five Killed in church attack in South Africa - Weapons recovered after hostages were freed
Five Killed in church attack in South Africa – Weapons recovered after hostages were freed

“(E)verything was in complete disarray, so we have arrested all those that we reasonably believe are suspects, we are busy interviewing and interrogating them to establish exactly what the motive was,” Naidoo told eNCA.

Reporting by Alexander Winning and Lynette Ndabambi; Editing by Toby Chopra

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