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South Africa: Lootings, stone throwing and hate increases in the latest xenophobic attacks


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(By Estera Popowska)
Latest in a series of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, foreign-owned shops have reportedly been attacked and looted in east Johannesburg, BBC reported.
A standoff is ongoing in Johannesburg, with police forming a barrier between an angry crowd and foreign-owned shops.

South African president Jacob Zuma. On Thursday held a ralley against xenophobia in the coastal city of Durban in which he condemned the violence against foreigners. But this has done little to quell the increasing xenophobic attacks.

Press reports say at least five people have died in anti-foreigner attacks in recent weeks.Migrants, mostly from other African states and Asia, have moved to South Africa in large numbers since white-minority rule ended in 1994.

Many South Africans accuse them of taking jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24%.At least 200 South Africans on Tuesday attacked foreign-owned shops, on Dr Pixley KaSeme Street (West Street), prompting riot police to shut down the area, Times Live reported Wednesday adding that foreigners took up arms to fight back.

In the main city Johannesburg, some foreign-owned shops have shut amid fears that the violence could spread. Zimbabwe has also condemned the attacks, blamed on locals who accuse foreigners of taking their jobs.

Tens of thousands of foreigners, mostly from other African states and Asia, have moved to South Africa since white-minority rule ended in 1994. At least 62 people died in xenophobic attacks that swept South Africa in 2008 (Source: Agencies)

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