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South African police evacuate mall over bomb threat

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By Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Shoppers were evacuated from the Mall of Africa, one of South Africa’s largest shopping complexes, on Wednesday as police searched for a bomb after receiving a threat, police said.

The mall, located between Johannesburg and Pretoria,

houses about 300 shops, including global brands such as Inditex’s Zara, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), Cotton On, Starbucks and Woolworths.

“There was a bomb scare and we received a complaint and police went there to search the building,” Gauteng police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

The search was still underway, he said.

Opened in April 2016, the mall mainly attracts the rising number of young consumers in Africa’s most developed economy, which has thrived on demand for commodities.

In a separate incident, the management of Sandton City, a mall in the financial district of Sandton in Johannesburg, said it too had received a bomb threat. No explosive device was found after a search and shopping had resumed.

Shiny malls have sprung up throughout South Africa, creating thousands of jobs. Mall of Africa is set in the sprawling Midrand suburb housing many of South Africa’s newly middle-class black consumers about 20 km (12 miles) away from its rival Sandton City.

(Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg, Writing by James Macharia, Editing by Angus MacSwan)