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Mbalula describes attack on EC police station as 'brazen, horrifying'

Gunmen stormed the Ncgobo Police Station early this morning killing three officers.

FILE: Police Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has described the murders of five police officers in the Eastern Cape as brazen and horrifying.

Gunmen stormed the Ngcobo Police Station early this morning, killing three officers.

They then fled in a police van, taking two other officers hostage, who were later found dead on the side of the road with gunshot wounds.

It is believed that 10 firearms were stolen during the attack.

An off-duty soldier was also gunned down in the attack.

The police ministry's Vuyo Mhaga says eyewitnesses are currently being questioned.

“Well indeed it’s a very horrifying story. There were data capturers that were at the police station, obviously they will play a critical role to make sure that we can identify what we’re looking for.”

National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole also 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."

NATIONAL TRAGEDY

The murders of five police officers in the Eastern Cape has been described as a national tragedy.

Parliament's portfolio committee on police says the incident is an attack on the state.

The committee has urged the national commissioner to appoint a senior multi-agency team of investigators, headed by a senior general, to look into the matter.

The police ministry's Mhaga says the police minister will visit the area.

"The minister has instructed the general of police to make sure they hunt down all these barbaric criminals."

The suspects also vandalised an ATM near the scene.