Two killed as South Africa township looting spree spreads


Two men have been shot dead and shops owned by immigrants were looted in South Africa’s biggest city, as unrest following the death of a teenager last week spread in Johannesburg townships, police said on Monday.

The two men were killed in the Langlaagte township during a robbery at an immigrant-owned shop on Sunday, while another store was set ablaze and several others were looted, the South African police said on its Twitter feed.

Foreign-owned shops were looted last week across Soweto, a sprawling group of townships southwest of Johannesburg.

The unrest broke out after a 14-year-old boy, who residents say was trying to rob a shop in Soweto, was shot dead by a foreigner last Monday. So far, 178 suspects have been arrested, the police said.

South Africa, with a population of about 50 million, is home to an estimated 5 million immigrants, some of whom are accused by local politicians and residents of taking jobs and services away from South Africans.

In 2008, more than 60 foreigners were killed in violence that analysts believe had its roots in tensions over a lack of jobs. South African unemployment is around 25 percent and youth joblessness is nearer 40 percent.