Army takes the streets in S Africa

Published on Wednesday 21st May 2008

South Africa: South African troops have been deployed for the first time in an effort to stop attacks on foreigners that have left 42 dead and forced thousands to flee.


Soldiers backed police in early morning raids at three hostels in Johannesburg, arresting 28 people and seizing drugs, arms and ammunition.

This is the first time soldiers have been used to stamp out unrest in South Africa since the 1994 end of apartheid.

Some 15,000 people have sought shelter from the attacks, BBC report said.

The violence began on 11 May in a township north of Johannesburg, before spreading to the city and the surrounding region.

Mozambique has provided buses to take about 9,000 people home.

Some Zimbabweans are also going home, preferring to risk the violence there than stay in South Africa.

Attacks have been reported in North-West province for the first time, after violence in Durban in recent days.

There were also attacks in the north-eastern Mpumalanga province.

However, police in Johannesburg say the situation there has become calmer.