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Western Cape police make arrest after attack on anti-gang unit members

Six officers ambushed and shot during an operation in Samora Machel in Philippi in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the anti-gang unit in Cape Town 0n 2 November 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Police have made an arrest in connection with the shooting of six anti-gang unit members in Samora Machel, Philippi.

The police said a 26-year-old man was apprehended in Paarl on Wednesday afternoon.

A second suspect was still being sought in connection with the shooting.

Earlier, Police Minister Bheki Cele said they had activated a 72-hour activation plan and wished the wounded officers a speedy recovery.

He then later visited the wounded officers in hospital.

They were among six ambushed and shot during an operation in Samora Machel in Philippi in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Cele has labelled the incident an attack on the state.

The hospital bed of one of the wounded Anti-Gang Unit members was cordoned off with hazard tape inside the hospital's intensive care unit.

That officer had suffered a bullet wound to the head.

Head of Detectives Major General Jeremy Vearey said an intensified manhunt was underway in Samora Machel.

“Every person and every house where we can potentially find the suspects or anybody who supports them or any weapon that can be used against us, it will be confiscated.”

Cele has met some of the victims' family members at the hospital and vowed to track down the perpetrators.

“What is very clear in the Western Cape, especially in the Cape Flats, is that there is no ordinarily dealing with an ordinary criminality, we’re dealing with organised crime.”

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