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15 Killed in Tavern Shooting in South Africa

15 Killed in Tavern Shooting in South Africa

Fifteen people were killed following a mass shooting in a South African tavern after midnight on Sunday.

As reported by the Associated Press, the incident took place at a bar in Johannesburg's Soweto township, where a group of men opened fire at some of the patrons after arriving in a minibus taxi.

South African police have confirmed that 15 people were killed and others were left in critical condition. The injured victims were taken to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

According to Gauteng province police commissioner Lt. Gen. Elias Mawela, it was evident that the shooting took place at the bar after a number of cartridges were found on the scene.

"The primary investigation suggests that these people were enjoying themselves here, in a licensed tavern operating within the right hours," Mawela told the Associated Press.

"All of a sudden, they heard some gunshots. That is when people tried to run out of the tavern. We don't have the full details at the moment of what is the motive, and why they were targeting these people," he continued.

"You can see that a high caliber firearm was used, and it was shooting randomly. You can see that every one of those people were struggling to get out of the tavern," the police commissioner added.

The suspects' identities remain in question since the area where the incident occurred was very dark.

Meanwhile, National police spokeswoman Col. Dimakatso Sello confirmed that Rifles and a nine mm pistol were used in Sunday's shooting.

The shooting follows a separate incident where unknown gunmen shot and killed four people at a tavern in Sweetwaters township in the city of Pietermaritzburg last Saturday night. About eight others were wounded and are receiving treatment at a hospital.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, condemned both shootings in a statement.

"As a nation, we cannot allow violent criminals to terrorize us in this way, regardless of where such incidents may occur," Ramaphosa said.

"As government, citizens and structures of civil society, we must all work together even more closely to improve social and economic conditions in communities, reduce violent crime and stamp out the illicit circulation of firearms," he added.

Photo courtesy: ┬ęScott Rodgerson/Unsplash

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.