Nine persons were murdered in separate shooting incidents in two provinces of South Africa on Saturday night, according to law enforcement, and police are looking for suspects.
The most recent spate of shootings follows an increase in violent deaths in a country with one of the worst murder rates in the world.
In the Thembelihle informal settlement, a southern suburb of Johannesburg, four individuals were shot, and two more sustained injuries.
According to a statement from the authorities, preliminary evidence indicates that a group of guys were playing dice on a street corner on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. (17:30 GMT) when they were attacked by unidentified gunmen who fired shots at them.
On Sunday the police said, “Four people were certified dead on the scene on Saturday while two people were taken to the nearest medical care centre after sustaining gunshot wounds.”
Elias Mawela, the regional police commissioner, described the crime scene as “horrific.”
“They were seated. They were attacked for no apparent reason,” he said.
They continued, saying that in a second incident that happened in Thembelihle, a 36-year-old man who appeared to have been robbed of his possessions, including a phone and a bicycle, was discovered shot dead.
The police stated that they are unable to confirm a motive at this time.
Police have opened a probe into the circumstances surrounding a triple homicide that occurred on Saturday night in the Khayelitsha township in the Western Cape province.
Colonel Andre Traut said that the fourth murder was an unrelated incident.
Eight suspects were arrested on Friday, according to authorities, and they were connected to the “random” shooting and robbery that left six people dead on Thursday night in the Johannesburg suburb of Alexandra.
It was unclear whether the suspects in the Alexandra shooting were part of the same gang that committed all of the homicides.
Out of a total population of around 60 million, South Africa sees about 20,000 homicides annually.