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Johannesburg - Three people were shot dead and three others injured after armed attackers opened fire on their vehicle on Sunday along the M35 road, near Folweni in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Yesterday at 18h00 six people were in a vehicle travelling along the M35 road near Folweni when they were confronted by unknown men travelling in another vehicle. The suspects opened fire on the victims vehicle, fatally wounding three family members and injuring three others," Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane, a South African Police Service spokesperson, said on Monday.

The police spokesperson said the wounded were taken to hospital. Cases of murder and attempted murder were opened at Folweni Police Station.

"One of the deceased was a taxi owner and the other two were taxi drivers. Detectives are investigating a possible motive for the attack," said Zwane.

The Acting Provincial Commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal, Major General Bheki Langa said : “Detectives have been tasked to meticulously investigate these cases and bring those responsible to book. We will not rest until those involved are arrested and prosecuted for their unlawful acts".

Langa said last month police in the province seized 213 illegal firearms, 1,271 rounds of ammunition and arrested 227 suspects.