A cash heist at a butcher shop in the South African port of Durban ended in a bloodbath Friday when police fatally shot all eight suspects as they fled with their loot.

"The suspects entered the butcher's and held up people at gunpoint. They later fled with an unspecified amount of money. The police gave chase,'' Police Inspector Michael Read said.

"Police shot dead all eight suspects, all men, after they lost control of the vehicle in which they were fleeing."

One policeman and two bystanders were injured in the exchange of fire, Inspector Read said, adding that all the money had been recovered.

More than 50 suspects die every month in South Africa from bullets or at the hands of police in a country which has one of the world's highest crime rates.

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