A church attack in South Africa on Saturday killed five people and took several others hostage, who were later rescued by the police.
Police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo told local media that 40 people had been arrested in connection with the attack on the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, Zuurbekom South Africa and a large number of weapons, including rifles and shotguns, had been seized.
Police said in a statement that four people were shot dead in the vehicle while a security guard was shot dead in another vehicle and six others were injured.
The statement added that police rescued men, women and children who had been taken hostage by gunmen but did not say how many had been rescued.
#sapsGP Early hours this morning #SAPS was alerted to a hostage situation & shooting @ International Pentcost Holiness Church, Zuurbekom, 30 suspects arrested & seized more than 25 firearms. 5 fatalities are confirmed. The scene is still active with SAPS Hostage Negotiators. TM pic.twitter.com/5sMjYkYFjg
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) July 11, 2020
The National Police Commissioner said that the police took immediate action and thwarted the operation otherwise it could have been a very dangerous bloody battle.
The statement said those arrested included police and defence personnel.
Police had earlier posted pictures of the seized weapons on Twitter, saying they were facing firing and hostage-taking.
According to local media, the possible motive for the attack could be a dispute between two opposing groups in the church.
Naidu said that the whole situation is very bad, so we have arrested all the people we suspect, we are interviewing and investigating to find out the motives behind the incident.
Note that the International Pentecostal Holiness Church is thought to have about three million members in Southern Africa.