Cape Town, South Africa - Tension remains sky-high in Pretoria’s Refiloe township in South Africa Thursday following an outbreak of xenophobic violence which has seen Somali and Pakistani shop owners fleeing the area.
On Wednesday, heavily-armed police moved into the area east of the capital city to escort the foreigners following a violent protest.
PANA reports that the trouble began on Tuesday night when a foreign shop owner allegedly assaulted a 10-year-old girl he accused of stealing a packet of sweets. She later died from her injuries.
Township resident went on the rampage, looting and burning at least 65 shops in the area.
On Thursday, police said residents have barricaded all roads leading into the township.
In 2008, South Africa was rocked by a wave of xenophobic violence which left 67 foreigners dead.
It began in the township of Alexandra (in the north-eastern part of Johannesburg) when locals attacked migrants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, killing two people and injuring 40 others.
In the following weeks, the violence spread, first to other settlements in the Gauteng Province, then to the coastal cities of Durban and Cape Town.
Attacks were also reported in parts of the Southern Cape, Mpumalanga, the North West and Free State.