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Foreign nationals flee PE townships

Police are keeping a close eye in PE after a week of violent service delivery protests.

Port Elizabeth residents allegedly torched foreign-owned shops and a bus on 30 May 2013. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN

PORT ELIZABETH - Foreign nationals have been fleeing Port Elizabeth following violent service delivery protests which have rocked some parts of the country.

Angry residents in various informal settlements set a bus alight, blockaded roads with rocks and burning tyres and looted at least 30 foreign owned shops this week.

Many foreigners have since fled some of the affected areas.

Police have had their hands full as service delivery protests took a turn for the worst.

The unrest initially starts in Cleary Park where residents went on the rampage littering main roads with burning tyres.

It was not long people before in Vars Plaas had a demonstration of their own.

By Wednesday, four more informal settlements were unruly.

The police's Stanley Jarvis says officers acted quickly to calm the situation.

However, protest action erupted again on Thursday.

Luckily, no one was injured when a bus was set alight on Booysens Park.

The violence turned deadly when a Somali man died after he was stabbed three times.

More than 20 people were arrested for public violence.

Police will remain on high alert throughout the weekend.

Meanwhile, foreign-owned spaza shops were looted in Diepsloot in Johannesburg earlier this week.

Over 45 people were arrested after numerous spaza shops were looted by angry commuters earlier this week.

Violence broke out in Diepsloot after a Somali shop owner allegedly shot and killed two Zimbabwean men who were allegedly trying to rob him.

The suspect has since been arrested.

Some Diepsloot have since called on the government to place foreigners in camps as they believe they are killing small businesses.

The government has condemned the violence calling it a criminal activity.

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