Home World News Five dead in church massacre as 30 suspects held after 'active siege'

Five dead in church massacre as 30 suspects held after 'active siege'

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Five dead in church massacre as 30 suspects held after 'active siege'

At least five people were killed after an armed gang took hostages at a church in South Africa.

Police rushed to the International Pentecost Holiness Church in Zuurbekom at roughly 3am local time.

Officers say the the situation is still ongoing with hostage negotiators at the scene.

Several legal tussles have recently involved IPHC, said to have three million congregants.

According to officers more than 25 firearms have been seized.

It wrote: “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.”

Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, a spokesman for cops said more than 25 firearms had been seized.

“The scene is still active with SAPS hostage negotiators,” he said. 

Dramatic pictures released by police show people laid on the ground at the scene with their hands on their heads.

Other shocking snaps show guns including rifles piled across the pavement.

Five dead in church massacre as 30 suspects held after 'active siege' 1

Five dead in church massacre as 30 suspects held after 'active siege' 2

Another image shows guns piled up next what appears to be boxes full of amunition.

There were violent clashes at the church in October 2018.

12 cars were damaged when one faction of the church allegedly opened fire on the other.

Bullets and stones were said to have been strewn in the fracas.

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