Bloemfontein - Two men have been shot dead in two attempted hijackings in Oranjesig, Bloemfontein, Free State police said on Sunday.

The men were both shot in the chest after being attacked by three hijackers on Saturday night, said Captain Chaka Marope.

“Both incidents occurred at around 9pm at the parking space in front of the Overland Liquor outlet in Falck Street,” he said.

Marope said a 21-year-old man was returning to his car from a shop when he was approached by three men armed with pistols.

An argument ensued, during which one of the attackers drew a firearm and shot him in the chest. He died on the scene. The attackers ran away.

Marope said the fleeing robbers then attacked a 30-year-old man, who was sitting in his car in a street near the liquor shop.

“The victim wrestled with the suspects after they dragged him out of his vehicle,” he said.

He was also shot in the chest and died on the scene.

The robbers exchanged fire with patrolling police when they drove past the scene, but no one was wounded. The robbers escaped.

Nothing was stolen in either incident and police believed both were hijackings gone wrong, said Marope. Investigations were continuing. - Sapa