Cape Town - Three suspected poachers have been shot dead and nine have been arrested following several anti-poaching operations across South Africa's Kruger National Park the past weekend, the South African National Parks (SANParks) said on Monday.
In a statement, SANParks said rangers arrested three suspects on Friday, one of them identified as "a recently retired Frelimo Commander who was in full camouflage uniform, when nabbed. They were found in possession of a high calibre hunting rifle, ammunition, poaching equipment and a fresh set of rhino horns."
The following day, rangers, along with a dog detector unit, tracked a trio of suspected poachers and arrested them.
"On the same day rangers also managed to arrest two additional suspects, unfortunately one suspected poacher was fatally wounded in the armed engagement," the statement said.
On Sunday, another shootout between rangers and suspected poachers occurred.
"One of the suspects was fatally wounded during the contact and the other one was wounded and arrested. A heavy calibre hunting rifle, ammunition, poaching equipment and two fresh rhino horns were recovered at the scene," SANParks said.
"Almost at the same time, rangers made contact with a group of three suspected poachers. In the ensuing armed engagement, one suspect was fatally wounded and the other two managed to escape. A hunting rifle, poaching equipment and ammunition were recovered at the scene."
Later, a member of the SA Police Service stationed at Skukuza in Mpumalanga was arrested for his alleged involvement with rhino poaching activities in the Park.
African News Agency/ANA