Armed men kill 8 people at South African birthday party

Crime scene

In a South African township where people were celebrating a birthday, armed men opened fire, according to police, leaving eight people dead and three more injured.

“The owner of the house was celebrating his birthday when two unknown gunmen entered the yard” on Sunday evening in the southern port city of Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth, “and started shooting at the guests”, police said in a statement on Monday.

According to authorities, the incident happened at a residence in Kwazakele between 5:15 and 5:30 pm local time (15:15 and 15:30 GMT). The shooting was carried out by two attackers, according to the authorities.

The unknown perpetrators “randomly shot at guests”, police claimed, adding “eight people died while three others are still fighting for their lives in hospital. One of those killed is the homeowner.

The incident is the subject of an investigation, and police say they are looking for the attackers.

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South Africa has one of the highest murder rates in the world, and gang violence and alcohol are major contributors to the country’s high rate of shootings.

Last year, there were many shootings in South Africa that left close to two dozen people dead in various pubs in working-class neighborhoods of Johannesburg and the eastern city of Pietermaritzburg.