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Two people killed in South Africa as looting targeting immigrants spread

By Reuters | January 26th 2015 at 11:20:00 GMT +0300

JOHANNESBURG: Two men have been shot dead and shops owned by immigrants were looted in South Africa's biggest city, as unrest following the death of a teenager last week spread in Johannesburg townships, police said on Monday.

The two men were killed in the Langlaagte township during a robbery at an immigrant-owned shop on Sunday, while another store was set ablaze and several others were looted, the South African police said on its Twitter feed.

Foreign-owned shops were looted last week across Soweto, a sprawling group of townships southwest of Johannesburg.

The unrest broke out after a 14-year-old boy, who residents say was trying to rob a shop in Soweto, was shot dead by a foreigner last Monday. So far, 178 suspects have been arrested, the police said.

South Africa, with a population of about 50 million, is home to an estimated 5 million immigrants, some of whom are accused by local politicians and residents of taking jobs and services away from South Africans.

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In 2008, more than 60 foreigners were killed in violence that analysts believe had its roots in tensions over a lack of jobs. South African unemployment is around 25 percent and youth joblessness is nearer 40 percent.

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