JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (BNO NEWS) -- Five people were killed and seventeen others were injured when a group of gunmen attacked a traditional ceremony in a remote area of South Africa's eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, police said on Monday. The motive was not immediately known.
The incident occurred at around 4.30 p.m. local time on Saturday when a group of gunmen opened fire on a crowd attending a coming-of-age ceremony in the remote Ngudwini area near Sundumbili in KwaZulu-Natal province, about 470 kilometers (290 miles) southeast of Johannesburg.
Colonel Jay Naicker, a provincial spokesman for the South African Police Service (SAPS), said five people were killed and seventeen others were injured. "Detectives are currently combing the scene, trying to piece together what happened," he said. "There is a possibility that we may receive more reports of injured persons coming from other hospitals."
The five bodies were airlifted from the scene by a police helicopter due to the remote location.
Naicker said a motive for the shooting attack was not immediately known. "Five counts of murder and seventeen attempted murders have been opened at Sundumbili police station for further investigation," he said. "Additional police re-enforcements have been deployed in the area to monitor the situation and ensure that no further attacks occur."
Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni strongly condemned the shooting and ordered a special task force to investigate the incident. "I am confident that we will bring the perpetrators to book," he said. "There is no place in society today for people who can butcher innocent people without batting an eyelid."
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