Five police officers killed in Eastern Cape

The SAPS members were gunned down at the Ngcobo Police Station early this morning.

Picture: SAPS

CAPE TOWN - Five police officers have been shot and killed in the Eastern Cape.

The SAPS members were gunned down at the Ngcobo Police Station, which is between between Nthatha and Queenstown, early on Wednesday morning.

Two other officers were wounded.

The motive is unclear but police have established that the attackers robbed an ATM near the police station, stole 10 firearms and and a police van from the station.

A massive manhunt is on for between five and 10 gunmen.

The police's Michelle Matroos: "All our support structures are currently on the scene. We have also tasked a special team to comb the area to search for these criminals who gunned down our police. During the day we will follow up on information and we request the community to assist us with leads that will lead to the arrest of these criminals."

It's understood suspects then fled in a police van, taking two officers hostage. They were shot and killed, and their bodies were dumped.

An off-duty soldier was also gunned down in the early hours of this morning.

The police's Vish Naidoo says a joint task team will be established to track down the killers.

“The national commissioner has instructed that a joint task team be put together from the South African Police Service and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation. They will be supported by our medium and high-risk team, as well as the air wing. We won’t rest until we find the suspects.”

National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole has strongly condemned the attack, saying that the police will not rest until the attackers are found.

"I am appalled and deeply saddened by the cold and callous attack on our colleagues this morning," said the commissioner said.

"I have activated a task team comprising of experienced detectives of the South African Police Service and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation to investigate this attack.

"We will not rest until we have tracked down these heartless killers and bring them to book."