S.Africa police arrest 68 after looting of foreign-owned shops

22nd January 2015, Comments 0 comments

South African police said Thursday they arrested 68 people after mobs went on a looting spree of grocery stores owned by foreign nationals in Johannesburg's Soweto township.

The violence erupted after a foreign shopkeeper shot dead a teenager who had tried to rob him on Monday night.

"Young boys wanted to rob a shop and the owner opened fire and killed one of them," police spokesman Kay Makhubela told AFP. "That made the community angry, and that's what started all this."

At least 80 shops, most of them owned by Somalis and Pakistanis, have been looted over the past three days, the police said.

A second person was killed on Wednesday night, and police said they were still investigating the circumstances.

Amid widespread poverty and unemployment, frustration in Johannesburg's run-down neighbourhoods often boils over into anti-immigrant violence.

In 2008, deadly xenophobic violence broke out around Johannesburg townships, killing 62 people.

© 2015 AFP

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