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Foreign shop owners flee to places of safety

They say rumours have been making the rounds in the area that their lives may be in danger.

FILE: These residents from a hostel in Jeppestown say they want all foreigners gone. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Foreign shop owners in the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Reiger Park on the East Rand have been forced to flee to places of safety this evening to avoid being attacked.

Police are currently assisting foreign shop owners in a bid to vacate their stores.

They say rumours have been making the rounds in the area that their lives may be in danger should they not leave tonight.

Somali shop owners told Eyewitness News they were heartbroken to have to leave the community under such circumstances.

There's a large police presence in the area as officers and the situation remains tense.

(Edited to Victoria Campbell-Gillies)