IN PICTURES: SA Streets Resembling War-zone As Armed Somalis & Locals Clash

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The South African Police Service (SAPS) members have set upon Somali nationals’ shops in the coastal city of Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) after an eruption of violence saw several minibus taxis going up in flames on Wednesday. The first scene of the violent chaos caught the public’s attention via a video posted on social media. It showed several taxis engulfed in flames during daylight on Durban Road. The fiery disaster footage was soon followed by a report from a local radio station. It said the violent chaos was “an altercation between South African taxi drivers and Somalian shop owners. “Police in Gqeberha and several other role-players are on scene at the taxi rank in Korsten where an altercation between taxi drivers and Somalian shop owners escalated. Several vehicles and a shop were set alight. This is a developing story image supplied,” the outlet said. Another video that was shared on social media displayed what looked like Somali shop owners strolling down a road with heavy gun artillery. With less than 24-hours since the carnage, SAPS officers headed for Somali-owned wholesale shops in Korsten with special mission guns in hands on Thursday. A video has shown a large team of SAPS policemen raiding a building that resembles a wholesale shop before a man appeared to at the entrance to let the cops inside the property. We can safely presume the location is where Somali shop owners could be hiding in safety from a possible attack from Gqeberha taxi drivers. Additionally, police could also be seen determined to arrest anyone who may be illegally possessing firearms as seen in the social media video. Calm has since returned to the town although tensions remain.

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