Gun Battle in Johannesburg Streets Leaves Eight People Dead

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A shootout between suspected robbers and police on the outskirts of Johannesburg’s city center left eight people dead, Police Minister Minister Bheki Cele said.

Police opened fire Monday on several gunmen in Rosettenville who were planning to attack a truck ferrying cash in South Africa’s commercial hub, Cele said in an interview broadcast on eNCA television. Eight of the gunmen, some of whom were armed with automatic assault rifles, were killed and eight others were arrested, he said.

Thieves regularly target armored trucks transporting cash to banks in South Africa, often using automatic weapons and explosives to access the money in the vehicles.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has faced calls by opposition parties to fire Cele over the police force’s inability to deal effectively with rampant crime in a country where more than 60 people are murdered daily. Ramaphosa last year warned the national police commissioner, Khehla Sitole, that he’s considering a probe into the head of the forces’ fitness to hold office.

Read: South Africa Plans Law Enforcement Revamp After Deadly Riots

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