Robbers escape after shooting policeman in gun battle
An unknown number of bank robbers escaped in three vehicles after a shootout with police on Friday morning in Mpumalanga‚ officials said.
A police officer was shot twice in the upper body and rushed to hospital during the gunfight in Ogies‚ said police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi.
Earlier information was that the shootout‚ which happened at around 4am‚ was still under way after four hours and that the robbers were trapped inside the bank.
But Hlathi said the report he has since received was that the stand-off did not last long.
“The incident happened around 4am and did not last long. The suspects managed to get away using three vehicles‚” he said.
Hlathi said police who were patrolling the coal-mining town had received information about a group of suspicious men at the bank.
“They responded to the information and the suspects opened fire as police approached. Police retaliated and a police officer was hit twice in the upper body. We do not know if any of the suspects was hit in the gunfight‚” Hlathi said.
He said the suspects also robbed a customer who had come to the bank to withdraw money from the ATM‚ before locking him in his car.