Cape Town - Police task force members entered a Cape Town city centre store where an apparent hostage situation had developed but left a short while later as it appeared that the armed robbers had already left.
Police crime scene experts were seen entering the Cash Crusaders store on Strand Street shortly after the task force members left and police on the scene confirmed no arrests had been made inside the store. There were also no reports of any injuries or fatalities.
Firefighters later entered as smoke could be seen inside the store but it was unclear what caused the smoke.
According to earlier reports, armed robbers had taken hostages inside the Cash Crusaders store.
There was a heavy police presence as Strand Street between Loop and Long streets was cordoned off, bringing lunchtime traffic to a standstill.
Hundreds of people had gathered to watch on from behind police tape, as several city security personnel and members of other emergency services were also on standby.
A woman, who did not want to be identified, said she was buying a plane ticket at a nearby airline company office when "we just saw people and police and guns".
"The police escorted us out," the woman said.