Three suspects were killed in a shoot-out with police and private security guards in La Mercy, north of Durban, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
It is believed the men were part of a larger syndicate wanted for a spate of crimes across KwaZulu-Natal.
South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson in KZN, Brigadier Jay Naicker, said the group was involved in serious crimes including murders committed in the Inanda area were hiding at the Lungelani Informal Settlement in La Mercy.
“A team comprising of various police disciplines including members of the Hawks descended on the location. Realising that they were surrounded, the suspects opened fire at the police and a shootout ensued,” he said.
Naicker said once the shooting stopped, it was established that three suspects were fatally wounded.
He added that two pistols were found in the possession of the suspects.
Some suspects managed to flee during the shootout and police are searching for them.
It is believed that the men moved to the informal settlement from Inanda, less than 20 kilometres away, and were using shacks in La Mercy as a new hide out.
At least eight suspects have been killed in shoot-outs with police as police continue to root out crime in the Inanda area.
On January 19, two were shot dead after police traced them to a hideout in Inanda. The men were linking to a previous shooting where three people were killed and seven others injured in Newlands West.
The day before, six suspects were killed, also during a shootout in Inanda.
At the time, Naicker said police recovered two rifles and a shotgun , as well as vehicle which was hijacked at KwaDabeka in December 2023.