Bar Shootings Leave 15 Dead and several others wounded In South Africa

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Police say they are investigating reports that a group of men arrived in a minibus taxi and opened fire on some of the patrons at the bar shortly after midnight Sunday.

Four people have been killed and eight critically wounded in a bar in eastern South Africa after two men allegedly fired relentlessly at customers, police said, on the same night as a bar shooting in Soweto left 15 dead.

Police were trying to verify if the attacks were linked, they said, noting their similarity.

In the city of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal province on Saturday night, two entered the bar and “fired random shots at the patrons” before fleeing, local police spokesman Nqobile Gwala said.

“A total of 12 people were reportedly shot. Two people were declared dead at the scene and the other two died in hospital,” he said.

“Another eight people are still in hospital after they sustained injuries.”

The dead were aged between 30 and 45.

The attack occurred about 8.30pm at a tavern in a semi-rural area 20km (12 miles) from Pietermaritzburg in the country’s east, close to a car wash and a liquor store, according to BBC news reporter on the scene.

The mayor, Mzimkhulu Thebola, said the assault was over very quickly without any robbery, conversation or fight.

“Every week we get news of people that have just been shot at randomly,” he said.

Blood stains were seen on the ground in front of the bar.

In Soweto hours later, gunmen killed 15 people and injured eight in a shooting at a tavern at a township close to Johannesburg.

The victims had been shot randomly, according to witnesses, while they were drinking.

“When we arrived at the scene, 12 people were dead with gunshot wounds,” police officer Nonhlanhla Kubheka said.

Eleven people were taken to hospital, and three later succumbed to their wounds. The dead were aged 19 to 35 and included two women, provincial police chief Elias Mawela said.

There were no details regarding the assailants, he said, and forensic police were still collecting evidence.