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Some foreign shops looted in South Africa: police

(Xinhua)

15:00, March 21, 2012

JOHANNESBURG, March 20 (Xinhua)-- Some foreign-owned shops were looted overnight after a protest in the eastern South African province of Gauteng, police said on Tuesday.

Unidentified people burgled the shops belonging to foreign nationals in Heidelberg in Gauteng on Monday night, looting their cash and property, the South African Press Association (SAPA) quoted police as saying.

However, police did not identify the shop owners affected in the looting.

Police said they are monitoring the area to control the situation.

The looting came after hundreds of people conducted protests in the same area on Monday against what they said the failure of the government to deliver basic services.

Five people were arrested after two houses were torched on Monday afternoon.

In recent months, there has been an increasing number of attacks against foreign shops, especially people from Asian countries, according to police reports.

On Feb. 16-17, around 35 foreign shops were looted when many platinum miners struck against their dismissals in Rustenburg in Gauteng, including some shop owners from Asia.

South Africa, the largest economy in Africa and one of the emerging economic entities in the world, is scrambling with an unemployment rate of 25 percent of its more than 50 million population.

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