Eleven taxi drivers shot dead in South Africa

A minibus with bullet holes on its side is seen on the road between Weenen and Colenso, in KwaZulu Natal province, South Africa, early Sunday, July 22, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 July 2018
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Eleven taxi drivers shot dead in South Africa

  • Private minibuses provide essential transport for millions of South Africans

JOHANNESBURG: Gunmen have shot dead 11 taxi drivers returning to Johannesburg from the funeral of a colleague in Kwa-Zulu Natal, a police spokesman said on Sunday.
The drivers, who were members of the Gauteng taxi association, were in a minibus driving along the R74 when unknown gunmen launched an ambush and opened fire.
“There was a shooting at about 8 p.m. (1800 GMT) last night. The vehicle was ambushed. There were 11 fatalities and four were seriously injured and are in hospital,” Kwa-Zulu Natal spokesman Jay Naicker said.
“We understand they were from the Gauteng taxi association. There has been a lot of taxi violence in the area but we are still investigating who the perpetrators were.”
Minibus taxis are the most popular form of transport in South Africa and violence is common by rival groups vying for dominance on profitable routes.


Pakistan rejects downgrading by US in religious freedom

Updated 1 min 20 sec ago
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Pakistan rejects downgrading by US in religious freedom

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s foreign ministry has rejected Washington’s move of placing Islamabad on its annual list of worst offenders for nations that infringe on religious freedom.
In a statement on Wednesday, it termed the decision as “unilateral and politically motivated.”
It said “besides the clear biases reflected from these designations, there are serious questions on the credentials and impartiality of the self-proclaimed jury involved in this unwarranted exercise.”
Pakistan’s reaction came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he added Pakistan to the US list of “countries of particular concern” regarding protection for people to worship according to their beliefs.
Pakistan had previously been on a special watch list for religious freedom.
The downgrade means Pakistan could be hit with US sanctions, although Pompeo waived those penalties in the US national interest.