Five die in South African church hostage situation

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Five people were killed and hostages were being held at a church west of Johannesburg, South African police said on Saturday.

Police said in a statement on Twitter that they were alerted to a “hostage situation and shooting” in the early hours of the morning at the International Pentecost Holiness Church in Zuurbekom.

Thirty arrests were made and more than 25 firearms seized, police said, adding hostage negotiators were still at the scene.

Police did not say why or how many hostages had been taken.

Reports said there had been a leadership dispute at the church and cited a church official as saying roughly 200 people had been taken hostage.

 

Olusola Akintonde