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Shotguns, live ammunition fired at Mbizana looters

The shooting happened after a truck carrying rice, sugar and other goods stalled along the R61.

FILE: The shooting happened near Mbizana Local Municipality in the Transkei yesterday after a truck carrying rice, sugar and other goods stalled along the R61. Picture: sxc.hu

JOHANNESBURG - Eastern Cape police have now confirmed that shotguns with live ammunition were used to disperse a crowd, allegedly looting a food truck in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape, leaving at least two people dead and 10 others wounded.

The shooting happened near the Mbizana Local Municipality in the Transkei yesterday after a truck carrying rice, sugar and other goods stalled along the R61.

It's understood one person died at a clinic nearby while the other died in hospital.

It's believed community members surrounded the truck which was carrying rice and other food shortly after it overturned.

Officials say residents became agitated when a bakkie arrived to collect the goods.

Police say officers opened fire with rubber bullets after residents started hurling rocks at them and threatened to kill the owner of the truck.

The police's Marinda Mills says officers were forced to retaliate.

"They did the best that they could at that time. Unfortunately, it led to 10 people being injured and two were fatally wounded in the incident."

A local ward councillor has addressed furious residents at a community meeting in the area.

Mills says the shooting has been reported to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

"Shotguns with live ammunition was all they had at their disposal at that time and place and we will leave it to the IPID to investigate the circumstances and make recommendations around this incident."

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