Foreigners flee deadly attacks in South Africa's Soweto

Thursday August 30 2018

Soweto xenophobic attacks

An injured man outside his shop in Soweto, South Africa on August 29, 2018. PHOTO | REUTERS 

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Foreigners have fled South African township of Soweto following xenophobic attacks which killed three people on Wednesday.

Violence broke out after locals accused a Somali shop owner of shooting a teenager and his friend who allegedly tried to break into his store.

Police believe this triggered the chaotic scenes of looting and violence, which spread to other areas of Soweto, BBC reported.

Residents also accused shop owners of selling expired foods.

Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically in South Africa against a background of high unemployment, with foreigners accused of taking jobs from South Africans and getting involved in crime.

A total of 27 people have been arrested, a police statement said.

A number of shops in Soweto are owned by nationals of other African nations including Somalis and Ethiopians, and also Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.

In recent years, Zimbabwean and Mozambican migrants have also been the target of attacks.

-Reporting by BBC and Reuters

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