Thirty gunmen stormed a church today and left five dead after a ‘feud between warring Christian religious factions’ broke out.
Blood-bath in South Africa
Five people have been killed and dozens arrested in an on-going church massacre in Johannesburg, the incident took place at the International Pentecost Holiness Church in Zuurbekom, a specialised police team and heavily-armed national defence force remain at the scene, there are serious concerns that further violence will break out between the gangs as information filters through to the media.
It is believed the killings came amid a leadership battle at the church, as officers scrambled to the scene at 3 am local time. Assailants and hostages were confused in the gunfire that followed as police made desperate pleas for the hostage’s release and it is understood that there could well be “friendly fire” deaths involved.
Images released by police show suspects laying face down on the ground with hands on their heads and guns stacked on the floor next to what looks like boxes of ammunition, one police officer said it was staged like an army assault and on-one stood a chance.
Authorities urged the public to steer clear of the area as some gang members still remain in the church, police have warned that if the situation is not soon resolved then they will not rule out “Lethal force”. At the time of writing, it has just been reported that army teams have arrived at the scene with heavy equipment, families of the hostages await news on their safe release.
Please check back later for more information on this breaking story.