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6 Dead in South Africa Mass Shooting, Manhunt Underway

FILE - Members of the Forensic Pathology Services stand near their vehicles on the scene of a mass shooting in Gqeberha, South Africa, Jan. 29, 2023.

JOHANNESBURG — A mass shooting in South Africa left six people dead and four wounded when three men entered the yard of a home and opened fire, police said Wednesday, with a search for the suspects underway.

The shootings happened Tuesday night in the township of Kwanobuhle near the town of Kariega in the Eastern Cape province. Police said five men and a woman were killed in the shooting and a woman was among the wounded.

"It is alleged that ... three unknown males entered the yard and opened fire at people who were in the property or nearby to the house," said police spokesperson Col. Priscilla Naidu. "Two females were shot at the gate. One female succumbed to her injuries while the other sustained gunshot wounds."

Police said the motive for the shooting is unclear.

The Eastern Cape's provincial police commissioner asked the local community to help police find the killers.

"These criminals must not be allowed to roam our streets any longer hence we are appealing to the community of Kwanobuhle to work with the police," Nomthetheleli Mene said.

South Africa has one of the highest homicide rates in the world and at least 2,629 people were killed with a firearm in the first three months of this year — a rate of 30 people a day — according to official crime statistics.

Recently, there has been a series of mass shootings in the country, including at least three this year prior to Tuesday.

Eight people were fatally shot at a birthday party in the same Eastern Cape province in January. A child was among 10 members of the same family killed at a house in April. Eight died when gunmen burst into a men's hostel and shot at occupants last month.

Last year, 16 people were killed in the township of Soweto in Johannesburg after numerous gunmen shot at people at a bar.

About 20,000 murders are recorded every year in South Africa, out of a population of 60 million.

Informations for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.