5 killed within the hostage state of affairs within the Church in South Africa

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Suspicious attackers on the ground(Photo: i24)

Five people died in a hostage situation in a church in South Africa.

At least 40 people were arrested after the attack on the church in the city of Zuurbekom on the outskirts of Johannesburg on Saturday morning.

The attack took place at the International Pentecostal Holiness Church and was reportedly linked to a leadership dispute triggered by the death of its former leader in 2016.

The attackers were part of a branch of the mega-church community and, according to eyewitnesses, had threatened to take over the building by force.

The police saved men, women and children who were taken hostage.

Four of the victims were shot and then burned in cars. A fifth victim was a security guard in the church.

Dozens of weapons were confiscated at the scene.

Some of the people rounded up by the police were officers from the South African Police, the National Defense Force, the Johannesburg Metro Police and the Department of Correctional Services.

"Four people were shot and burned in a car while a fifth victim, a security guard, was also fatally shot in his car when he appeared to be participating in the complaint," said National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole IOL.

"The crime scene is still being worked on and the number of arrests and firearms arrested may vary as members of the Special Task Force, Tactical Response Team and Visible Policing continue to comb the site," said Sitole.

"These units also saved men, women, and children who are said to live on the site and were held hostage."

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