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Five dead, dozens arrested, as gang storms South African mega church

Jul 12, 2020 | 🚀 Fathership
At least five people were killed and 40 others, including off-duty police officers, arrested Saturday after gunmen stormed a South African church, reportedly over a leadership dispute, the national police commissioner said.

According to a statement by South Africa's top police officer, General Khehla John Sitole: "Four people were found shot and burnt to death in a car while a fifth victim, a security guard, was also fatally shot in his car while he was apparently attending this complaint."

The unusually violent incident took place early Saturday when an armed group stormed the International Pentecostal Holiness Church in Zuurbekom, on the western outskirts of Johannesburg, "Indicating that they were coming to take over the premises," police said.

The church has had multiple succession-related clashes that have been widely reported by local media since multimillionaire leader and founder Comforter Glayton Modise died in 2016.

Confiscated arms and ammunition, foreground, and arrested suspects, background, lay face-down at a church in Zuurbekom.