South Africa 16.7.2018 05:07 pm

Rhino poaching suspects killed in shoot-out

A member of the police’s Special Task Force was wounded when the suspects opened fire in the Loskop Nature Reserve outside Middleburg.

A member of the South African Police Service’s Special Task Force (STF) was wounded and two suspects killed at Loskop Nature Reserve, north of Middleburg in Mpumalanga on Saturday night.

The team and the local Stock Theft Unit were tracking down two suspected poachers when they came under fire shortly after 9pm. A shoot-out ensued which resulted in an STF member being shot in the leg and two suspects being fatally wounded.

The team recovered a rifle, fitted with a silencer. In recent years South Africa has been plagued by the poaching of rhinos, primarily for their horns, which is continuing despite many poachers losing their lives and others having been arrested and handed lengthy jail terms.

“Various disciplines of the SAPS have pledged their unwavering commitment to continue combating the poaching of this dwindling critical resource without fear or favour,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

“The team involved in Saturday night’s incident must be praised for having put their lives on the line, as do many of our police officers on a daily basis to protect life and property.

“We continue to call upon our communities to support the South African Police Service in our effort to protect the natural resources of our country, so that our children and children’s children can enjoy them for generations to come.”

Phone 082-567-4153 if you have any information on poaching.

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