File picture: Antoine de Ras/Independent Media

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal police have shot and killed two suspects who were part of a group of prison escapees who broke out of Johannesburg Correctional Centre on Monday.

Spokesperson for the Hawks in KZN, Simphiwe Mhlongo, confirmed that police were involved in a shoot-out with the escapees.

“The Organised Crime Unit received information about the escapees who’d escaped from Johannesburg prison. They were assisted by the Durban K9 Unit and the Provincial Tracking Unit when they conducted an operation near Greytown at around 10.30pm last night.”

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Mhlongo said the suspects were spotted in vehicle that was reported to the police as suspicious. “The vehicle was spotted on the R33 near Greytown. When the police tried to stop the vehicle, the suspects opened fire on the members. “The police returned fire and in self defence fatally wounding both suspects.”

The deceased can not be identified at this stage. “The suspects cannot be identified until their families have been informed.”

He could confirm that both the suspects were currently awaiting trial for murder, for unrelated cases.

Mhlongo added that because the escape took place in Johannesburg, police members from that area are currently making their way to confirm the suspects’ identities.

Daily News