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Six People Killed in Overnight Attack on South African Police Station

A police officer stands on a barricaded street as tires burn during a protest in Ennerdale town township, Johannesburg, South Africa, May 11, 2017.

Five South African police officers and an off-duty soldier were killed Wednesday during an attack on a rural police station.

A police spokesman says an armed gang stormed the outpost in the southern village of Engcobo shortly after midnight local time and killed three of the officers. They stole a cache of weapons and abducted two other police officers as they escaped in a police van. The soldier was shot and killed as the gang fled.

The bodies of the two abducted officers were later discovered dumped on the side of a road.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula called the attack "a national tragedy."

South Africa has one of the highest crimes rates in the world.