Mobs kill at least 7, injure 50 in anti-foreigner violence in South Africa

May 18, 2008 17:10

Mobs rampaged through poor suburbs of Johannesburg in a frenzy of anti-foreigner hatred over the weekend, killing at least 7 people, injuring dozens and forcing hundreds to seek refuge at police stations. Police said violence erupted after midnight Saturday in a rundown inner city area called Cleveland that is home to many immigrants. Two of the victims were burned and three others beaten to death. More than 50 were taken to hospitals with gunshot and stab wounds. "It's spreading like a wildfire and the police and the army can't control it," said Emmerson Zifo, who like many of the foreigners targeted was Zimbabwean. The trouble began last week in the sprawling township of Alexandra. Angry residents there accused foreigners - many of them Zimbabweans who fled their own country's economic collapse - of taking scarce jobs and housing. The unrest has since spread.

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