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South African Anti-Foreigner Violence Spreads to Cape Town


South African police say violence against foreigners has spread to the city of Cape Town, where mobs attacked Zimbabweans and Somalis - looting their shops and homes.

Around 500 people fled a squatter camp late Thursday to escape the attacks.

Police Friday also report more violence in Limpopo and North West provinces.

The violence started in parts of Johannesburg nearly two weeks ago and spread from there. So far 42 people have been killed and at least 16-thousand have been forced from their homes.

The violence has prompted thousands of immigrants to return to their home countries. South Africa's neighbor, Mozambique, says more than 10,000 Mozambicans have come home since the attacks began.

On Thursday, South African army troops were deployed to parts of Johannesburg in an effort to restore order.

A police spokeswoman said the soldiers backed up police during early-morning raids in Johannesburg that resulted in 28 arrests. She and other officials emphasized that the army will only be used to help law enforcement control the unrest.

The South African Broadcasting Corporation reports members of the South African government will meet Friday with representatives of the international community to discuss the violence.

South Africa is home to an estimated five-million immigrants, about three million of them from neighboring Zimbabwe. The attackers have blamed the immigrants for taking jobs and increasing South Africa's already-high crime rate.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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