At least 15 people are dead and several others are injured after a group of men opened fire at a bar in the South African township of Soweto on Sunday around midnight, CNN reports. Police said the gunmen, who were armed with rifles and 9-millimeter pistols, entered the bar and started shooting “randomly” at the patrons.
According to police, 12 people died at the scene while 11 were rushed to a hospital.
“It’s a bad scene. When you see the bodies [that] are piled up, you can see that every one of those people [was] struggling to get out of the tavern,” Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela told South African news channel ENCA.
Police, who are still looking for the suspects, said they haven’t yet determined details on the motive or why the people at the tavern were targeted.
“I have no doubt that with the cooperation of the community here, we will be able to crack this case,” Mawela said.
South Africa is also grappling with another shooting incident which happened in a bar in Sweetwaters in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday. Four people died in that incident when two men entered the tavern and “randomly opened fire,” police said.
The South African National Civic Organization in Gauteng urging the government to reinforce gun regulations in the country. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the violent acts.
“As a nation, we cannot allow violent criminals to terrorize us in this way, regardless of where such incidents may occur,” Ramaphosa said. “As government, citizens and structures of civil society we must all work together even more closely to improve social and economic conditions in communities, reduce violent crime and stamp out the illicit circulation of firearms.”