Death toll rises to 220

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The Independent Online
JOHANNESBURG (Reuter) - The death toll in 10 days of violence in South Africa's black townships rose to at least 220 yesterday after more than 60 people were burnt, shot or hacked to death over the weekend. Most of the deaths were in the townships east of Johannesburg, despite the arrival of thousands of troops sent to back hard-pressed police.

Police said the fatalities included six people shot dead at a party in Daveyton, five men whose bodies were found in a blazing car in Vosloorus and a man killed in Katlehong when a grenade exploded in his pocket.

At least 13 people died in Natal, seven of them in clashes between supporters of the African National Congress (ANC) and Inkatha Freedom Party in Bhambayi squatter camp, near Durban.

Soldiers and police searched for arms in Johannesburg's eastern townships yesterday, beginning at dawn, but after several hours police said they had discovered only one home-made gun, a tear-gas grenade, a pile of marijuana and two illegal immigrants. Police said the sporadic nature of the violence made it difficult to curb.

The ANC and its allies said they were setting up a joint operational centre to try to restore order to the townships. 'It's a very sad situation. We want to bring to book those perpetrating the violence,' an ANC spokesman, Carl Niehaus, said.

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