Nine Dead, 30 Missing In S.African Vigilante Killing

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Nine members of a vigilante group guarding against cattle theft were shot dead in South Africa and some 30 were missing after a revenge attack by villagers, local media reported Saturday.

Police discovered the ninth body on Saturday after the shooting two days back in the hills near Pomeroy, 180 kilometres (110 miles) from the eastern port city of Durban, the South African Broadcasting Corporation said, quoting police.

Around 30 members of the vigilante group were still missing.

The police were not immediately available for comment.

The group on Thursday caught and allegedly beat up a man suspected of stealing cattle, police spokesman Vincent Mdlunge told Sapa news agency.

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Local residents then ambushed the vigilantes.

Cattle wars are a longstanding feature in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, whose capital is Durban.

In a separate incident a week ago, five men were shot dead and 17 injured in an attack elsewhere in the province blamed on a clan feud, raising concern over violence in South Africa’s most populous, Zulu-dominated province.

Around 14,000 people were killed in violence between rival political groups between 1990 and 1994, when apartheid ended in South Africa. Most of the deaths were in KwaZulu-Natal.

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