- Suspects, allegedly part the group who attacked Ngcobo police station on Wednesday, clashed with police resulting in a shoot out on Friday night on Friday night
- When the shooting ended, seven suspects were dead, and one of the police was injured
- At least 10 others suspected to have been involved in the Ngcobo massacre were arrested, but police say there are still suspects at large
Suspects thought to be part of a gang police believe was behind the Ngcobo police station massacre this week found themselves cornered inside the church they were allegedly using as a hideout.
Briefly.co.za believes that one police officer was left wounded as a result of the shootout between police task force members and the suspects. Seven assumed to have been involved in the attack on the station were left dead.
A Hawks spokesman has said more than 10 others had already been apprehended and were in custody but some still managed to escape the widely thrown dragnet authorities have thrown in attempts to bring those responsible for the deaths of six including a retired soldier.
Ngcobo, situated between Mthatha and Queenstown in the Eastern Cape was the site of a bloodbath at the local police station on Wednesday morning when attackers seemingly at random, allegedly opened fire on duty officers.
Three were killed at the police station before gunmen grouped the staff according to gender, removed firearms including sidearms, shotguns and assault rifles and then fled.
While fleeing the attackers allegedly shot a retired soldier was dead.
Two more bodies of police officers were later found along the roadside near a High School about 6km from the police station. Police reports are that they had been shot execution style.
The church where the suspects were traced to is the same one investigated two years ago in connection with allegedly "cultish practices". At that time, more than 18 children were removed from its premises.
Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi speaking for the Hawks said more than 10 other suspects were arrested but others managed to escape and injuries to police in the take down had been minimal. "One police officer was wounded and he is recuperating in hospital," Mulaudzi said.
A task team comprising the Hawks, Detectives, Crime Intelligence, the Task Force, National Intervention Unit and the Tactical Response Team had, according to Mulaudzi, responded to tips on Friday evening of a possible gang responsible for Wednesday's shooting.
"The group, which uses a church as a hiding place, was cornered inside the church premises," he explained describing the swoop on the suspects. "A gun battle between suspects and police ensued which left seven suspects dead and a task force member injured in the legs," he added.
Firearms were reportedly confiscated and it is hoped that the processing of the crime scene will offer up more clues to lead the investigation further.
This is a breaking story. Breifly.co.za will update as more information becomes available.
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