Johannesburg - Three suspected poachers were shot and killed in the Kruger National Park at the weekend, SANParks said on Sunday.

A fourth poacher was critically wounded during an exchange of gunfire on Saturday night, said SANParks spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli.

A fifth man escaped.

Thakhuli said two park rangers were patrolling when they were confronted by the group.

A shootout ensued and three armed men were killed.

Two hunting rifles, an AK-47, a pistol and an assortment of ammunition were found in their possession and confiscated.

A rhino horn and other poaching equipment were also found.

In a separate incident on Saturday, four suspected poachers were arrested at the KNP after they were found in possession of a hunting rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment. - Sapa