A group of robbers destroyed an ATM with explosives and shot at police in Thabong in the Free State, in the early hours of Tuesday, police said.

A group of policemen heard an explosion at an ATM near the Majakathata taxi rank on Constantia Road shortly after 1am, spokeswoman Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana said.

When the police arrived an unknown number of men shot at them with AK-47 rifles. Police returned fire. They later found 15 spent cartridges at the scene. The robbers fled the scene in a white Toyota Hi-Ace minibus.

Police found another explosive device at the scene which had not been detonated.

No money was taken from the ATM and no one was wounded. - Sapa