S.Africa mob fire bombs suspected criminal hideout

1st August 2014, Comments 0 comments

Residents in Johannesburg hurled petrol bombs at an abandoned building on Friday in a bid to smoke out members of a suspected criminal gang who were hiding inside, a security official said.

Private security officer Matthew Brook told AFP a mob threw petrol bombs at the suspected hideout before people inside the blazing building began hurling objects in retaliation.

"People say they had for a long time been robbed when passing that building, and criminals went and hid inside," Brook said.

"This afternoon a group of residents burnt it down using petrol bombs, preventing them from coming out."

Around 10 people were believed to be inside the building, which had its first two floors engulfed in flames, Brook added.

Downtown Johannesburg has dozens of high-rise residential buildings and is notorious for its sky-high crime rate, with muggings and deadly shootings occurring on a regular basis.

The area also has several abandoned buildings which have reportedly been converted into hideouts for alleged criminal gangs.

Brook said police arrived at the scene to try to calm the situation and extinguish the blaze.

© 2014 AFP

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