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10 members of same family killed in mass shooting in South Africa

Seven women and three men – all from the same family – were fatally shot outside the South African city of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, police said on Friday. The youngest victim was a 13-year-old boy.

Gunmen stormed the family's homestead in iMbali township early in the morning hours, police said, and hours later, they confronted four men participating in a "cleansing ceremony" conducted by a traditional healer less than two kilometers away from the crime scene, police said.

A male suspect was killed and two male suspects were arrested following a shootout with police. One suspect is in the hospital under police guard with injuries sustained during the gunfire, police said. Three firearms were recovered from the scene and police are searching for one suspect who escaped during the shootout.  

Police thanked the Pietermaritzburg community for "assisting police in KZN family mass murder breakthrough."

Guns are the leading cause of murder in South Africa, with 30 people killed daily by guns, according to a report by Gun Free South Africa, a not-for-profit advocating for reduced gun violence. 

The majority of murders in South Africa are not crime-related, but result from arguments and misunderstandings, the report found. 

Gun availability makes it easier for these disputes to end in violence, the report found. There are 4,500,000 licensed guns in South Africa, the report found.

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