Foreign-owned shops, cars torched in Johannesburg in anti-immigration attacks

Several shops and cars owned by foreigners were torched in downtown Johannesburg overnight in continued anti-immigrant attacks but another city that had seen the worst violence was calm, authorities said Friday. Police spokesman Col. Jay Naicker said no violence was reported in the coastal city of Durban, where the violence began.

In Johannesburg, about 100 foreigners took refuge in a police station overnight, fearing for their safety, said police spokesman Col. Lungelo Dlamini. Some also stayed in a community center. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse looters and at least 18 people were arrestedy, Dlamini said.

In neighboring Zimbabwe, police were involved in minor clashes with dozens of protesters demonstrating at the South African Embassy against the anti-immigrant attacks. Protesters handed over a petition to embassy officials demanding an end to the violence in South Africa.