12 Immigrants Killed in Johannesburg Riots

Foreigners blamed for poverty
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2008 4:20 AM CDT
12 Immigrants Killed in Johannesburg Riots
A South African police officer stands by the body of a man killed during violence in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday May 18, 2008. Mobs killed at least five people and injured 50 in anti-foreigner violence Sunday that has spread through poor suburbs of Johannesburg, police said. Foreigners, mainly...   (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

At least 12 foreigners were shot, stabbed, beaten or burned to death over the weekend in anti-immigrant protests in and around Johannesburg. Thousands of terrified immigrants, many of them Zimbabweans fleeing problems in their own country, are now seeking refuge in churches or police stations, reports the New York Times. Immigrants have become the scapegoat for problems in the nation, rocked by a 23% unemployment rate, soaring food prices and one of the highest crime levels in the world. 

“We should be the last people to have this problem of a negative attitude toward our brothers and sisters who come from outside,” said the president of the African National Congress. (Read more Johannesburg stories.)

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