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Polokwane - A 42-year-old traffic officer was charged with attempted murder after allegedly opened fire on three teenage girls, injuring one of them in Greenside, outside Polokwane, in Limpopo province.

Police spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the girls, aged 13, 15 and 17, were walking along a street on Wednesday when the officer, driving a car, reportedly started insulting them.

''An exchange of words ensued between the man and the youngsters until he chased them with his motor vehicle. The suspect apparently fired several shots in the direction of the children, injuring the 17-year-old in the process. Police and emergency services were alerted, leading to the apprehension of the suspect and the confiscation of his private firearm,'' Ngoepe said.

The injured teenager was taken to hospital. She was later discharged and was recuperating at home.

''Gun owners are reminded to always comply with the provisions of the Firearm Controls Act. Any contravention of the Act may result in the owner being declared unfit to possess a firearm, in addition to criminal charges laid against them,'' said Ngoepe.

The traffic officer will appear in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on a charge of attempted murder.

African News Agency/ANA