2014/02/16 DURBAN. Armed robbery at Top of the rock super makert . picture: siyanda mayeza

Durban - A Durban supermarket was hit by a gang on Saturday night with robbers spraying automatic rifle fire before making off with cash, cigarettes and valuables from customers.

More than 10 robbers struck a Greenwood Park supermarket. The shop owner and customers escaped unharmed when the gang sprayed the entrance of the shop with bullets after a seven-minute robbery.

Marshall Security, which responded to the attack, said: “We gather the suspects, armed with AK47s, R5s and 9mm weapons, stormed Top of The Rock.”

Shop owner Pravesh Ramfol said he was getting ready to close for the day when a man walked in brandishing a pistol.

“As he came in, another three walked in and instructed customers to lie on the floor. The guy then came to the counter and I noticed another three at the side of the counter taking cigarettes and emptying the till,” he said.

About six more robbers stood guard outside, he said.

Spent AK47 and R5 cartridges were found outside the shop afterwards.

Ramfol said the gang was “not aggressive” but kept yelling at him not to press the panic button. Customers were terrified, he said.

“No one (else) was assaulted – they just gave me a couple of smacks,” he said. The men wore neither gloves nor balaclavas.

Customers were robbed of cellphones, wallets and car keys.

As the robbers left, Ramfol said he “just about managed” to close the doors from the inside when they sprayed the shop front with bullets.

The entire entrance had bullet holes and the glass door of a shop upstairs was shattered.

Also on Saturday, a robber was killed near Nongoma in Zululand, during a shoot-out with the police. They said he was part of a trio who robbed a cash-in-transit guard.

Police spokesman Jay Naicker said the police had been alerted and gave chase. The suspects were cornered near Nongoma.

One of the robbers was killed and another injured. Cash and two firearms were recovered.

On Friday night, a private security guard was ambushed in a robbery at a Phoenix petrol station. The robbers made off with cash and cigarettes.

The Mercury