Three killed in shootout after Mpumalanga business robbery

Police thwarted a business robbery and killed three suspects during a shootout and high speed chase near Middelburg, Mpumalanga in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Crime intelligence were following up on information about plans to break into and rob business premises in Mhluzi, when they encountered a group already in progress. 

"On arrival at the place, the team discovered that a safe inside one of the premises had already been blown up," said police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili.

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"The suspects then allegedly started shooting their way out of the situation. The police returned fire but the suspects fled the scene with undisclosed amounts of money in three vehicles.

"A high speed chase and exchange of fire with the suspects, while police were in pursuit of the vehicles, resulted in two of the suspects’ vehicles coming to a halt - one as a result of all three occupants being fatally wounded during the shootout and the driver of the other vehicle lost control."

Muridili said four suspects then fled on foot but police chased after the suspects with the support of the SAPS K9 Unit and managed to arrest one.

Read more: Two police officers killed in separate incidents

A manhunt has been launched for the other three men while the arrested suspect is currently being linked to other serious and violent crimes. 

Police recovered three unlicensed firearms as well as two vehicles.