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One cop dead, another seriously injured in Soweto shooting

Helicopters and dozens of police have been deployed to the area to search for the gunmen.

FILE: Nearly 60 police officers have been killed since the start of the year. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police have confirmed a detective has been killed and another critically wounded in a shooting in Dobsonville, Soweto this afternoon.

Helicopters and dozens of police have been deployed to the area to search for the gunmen who are believed to have escaped in three vehicles following a robbery at a liquor store.

The shooting took place as the Gauteng Community Safety Department and provincial police bosses brief the media on efforts to combat cop killings.

Police say two suspects were fleeing from a supermarket robbery when their vehicle collided with the detective's car.

One woman, who lives in the area, says she can't count how many gunshots she heard.

"The criminals sped off in their car and they went straight to them [the police]. They pulled the one who as still alive outside the car and shot him again. They took their guns and ran."

Nearly 60 police officers have been killed since the start of the year.

WATCH: #FinalSalute for slain cops

Meanwhile, Gauteng Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane says nine police officers have been killed in the line of duty in the province in the last three months.

The department says in most of the cases authorities have arrested almost all of the suspects involved in the crimes.

Nkosi-Malobane says her office is working with the National Prosecuting Authority to prioritise cases involving police officers being killed.

She says officers are not using their bullet proof vests because they're too heavy.

A task team has been established which is now probing the reasons behind the attacks on officers.

Police say in most of the murders, criminals target officers in order to steal their official weapons.

The MEC was not able to comment on this afternoon's shooting in Dobsonville, saying investigations are still underway.