Eastern Cape protester shot dead by police

Bedford - A 23-year-old man was allegedly shot and killed by police during violent protest action in Bedford on Tuesday afternoon where a group of protesters turned on the police.

Eastern Cape provincial spokesperson, Brigadier Marinda Mills, said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate would be investigating the shooting incident, which took place at about 13:45.

Mills said the trouble began when a group of people gathered in front of the Bedford municipality, blocking the road with drums, tree branches and stones.

"Rubbish was burnt and police’s attempts to negotiate with the leaders to stop their actions were unsuccessful," she said.

Mills said the group then moved down another street towards New Brighton Township, continuing with their protests.

"Local and public order police members attempted to stop the protesters and whilst attempting to execute arrests and removing blockages from the road, the members were surrounded by a group of people attacking them with stones and bricks."

"Shots were fired and after the crowd dispersed, the body of the deceased was discovered," she said.

Mills said the identity of the man would be released once the family had been informed.

She said a few police members had sustained slight injuries and received medical attention. A police vehicle was also damaged by the protesters

Mills said the police expressed their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

Two suspects were arrested for public violence during the protests.