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#Durban shootout left nine dead-ATM robbers

Nine people, including a police officer, were killed after a gun battle with a gang of ATM robbers in Hammersdale, west of Durban on Sunday night.
It is alleged that police officers were informed of a plot to bomb an ATM in the area and responded. Members of the police's elite National Intervention Unit and K9 Unit  were called to assist local officers.
As police neared the area where they were informed that the ATM robbers had targetted, a shoot-out occurred.
Police spokesman, Brigadier Jay Naicker said the shoot-out occured at various spots, starting late on Sunday night and ending early on Monday morning. 
"Our members confronted the suspects and they were met with gunfire during which a 44 year old Warrant Officer from the National Intervention Unit was tragically shot dead," Naicker said.

"The suspects fled the scene on foot but they were later found in the nearby bushes where another shootout with police took place. Three suspects were fatally wounded during this exchange of gunfire. The SAPS  team continued with the search for members of this armed gang and a second group of suspects were tracked down to a homestead in the Mophela area within the Mpumalanga Police Station precinct. In another exchange of gunfire where police were forced to respond, a further five suspects were fatally wounded," he said.

So far, during the processing of the scenes, police have recovered two rifles, four handguns, five explosive devices, two detonators, a gas mask, a goggle, a pair of gloves and two cars.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner has expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of the fallen member.

“Our members put their lives on the line on a daily basis to ensure that the people of  South Africa are and feel safe,” said the Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa.

“We commend our members for standing their ground against an armed group who were prepared to kill law enforcement members and had the fire power to do so; while we deeply mourn the loss of the warrant officer, we can be glad that more of our members were not killed by these ruthless criminals,” added Major General Langa.

The SAPS Provincial Organised Crime Unit is investigating the matter and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate has been informed of the events that unfolded, Naicker said.

Detectives were on the hunt for three bandits who escaped the shoot-out.

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