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6 girls, 2 women from one family shot dead in S.Africa

Eight female members of one family were shot dead in their homes in South Africa, police said Wednesday, with attackers also setting fire to the houses.

Six of the victims were aged between three and 18, while two were older women. Police said the cause of the killings was unknown.

The killings took place on Tuesday evening in Embangweni village, northwest of the port city of Durban, in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal.

“It has been reported that the neighbours heard gunshots, and then the houses caught fire,” police spokeswoman Thembeka Mbhele told AFP.

Seven people were shot and killed at the scene, and another child later died in hospital.

The adjacent homes were reportedly doused in patrol before being set alight.

KwaZulu-Natal province has seen a spike in politically-motivated killings, although local reports said the killings may have been due to a family feud.

The regional office of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party condemned the incident, saying “clearly something is not right in our province”.

Police said an investigation was underway.