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22 dead in violence in South Africa

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22 dead in violence in South Africa

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Twenty two people are now known to have died in a wave of violence against immigrants in South Africa. Foreigners from countries such as Zimbabwe are accused by many in poor townships of taking jobs and being involved in crime. The violence has spread to several townships around Johannesburg.

President Thabo Mbeki has appealed for an end to the violence, while residents plead for a curfew to be imposed and the army called in. Hundreds of immigrants have taken refuge in police stations, churches and government buildings. Many complain they are often the victims of crime, and not the perpetrators.

Among the immigrants in South Africa are an estimated three million Zimbabweans who fled economic collapse. The charity Doctors Without Borders is warning of a humanitarian crisis in the run-down townships.