Bloemfontein -

Three Free State men were shot execution-style during a robbery attempt near Welkom, Free State police said on Friday.

Two more people managed to flee the scene during the crime on Thursday night, spokesman Sergeant Mamello Macheoane said.

One of the two was seriously wounded, and taken to a Bloemfontein hospital. The fifth man, who escaped unharmed, notified Bronville police.

Police said the five were apparently on their way to collect scrap metal near the Welkom mines. Two armed men approached them, ordered them to lie down and demanded money. When they could not provide cash, the men shot each of the victims in the back of the head.

Police have offered a R50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the two attackers. - Sapa