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RUSTENBURG - A police officer's house was gutted while two others's homes were burnt to varying degrees in Bloemhof, North West as an angry crowd attacked the officers in retaliation for the arrest of five people for assault earlier, police said on Thursday.

"Of the three houses, one burnt to ashes. The furniture was extensively damaged at the second house while only a curtain was burnt at the third," Captain Sam Tselanyane  said. 

He said an unconfirmed number of Boitumelong township residents went to the police station on Wednesday night, demanding the release of five people who were arrested for assault. 

"The protesters allegedly pelted the police station with stones but were eventually dispersed.  A police officer sustained injuries to the face after being hit with a stone during the confrontation with protesters while damages were also caused to the police station," he said.

"It was later reported during the night that three houses belonging to police officers were torched and damaged."

He said on Thursday, protesters gathered again in Bloemhof apparently to attack the police station but went back to the township after the cluster commander of Pudimoe addressed them. 

African News Agency (ANA)