Gunmen burst into two bars and open fire at random slaughtering 18 people

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At least 18 people have been slaughter by armed gunmen who burst into a bar in South Africa.

The shocking incident took place in Johannesburg overnight.

Several others at the venue were taken to hospital with gunshot wound – some of whom are in critical condition.

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Some of the victims are thought to be teenagers.

Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela told local news organisations: “I can confirm that incident did happen and it happened around 12:30am this morning.

"Primary investigations suggest the people were enjoying themselves in the tavern.

"They just came in and shot at them randomly.

"The age range is just an estimation from my detectives to say they are between 19 and 35 years."

A second shooting also took place a few hours later, where four people were shot and killed in bar in a Pietermaritzburg.

That incident saw another eight people taken to hospital.

It is not know whether or not the two shootings were linked, and the names of the bars where the shootings took place have not been released to the general public at this stage.

Security expert Ian Cameron, who founded Firearms South Africa, tweeted: "So 14 people shot dead in Soweto, 4 shot dead in Pietermaritzburg, yet the minister of police is hell-bent on disarming law-abiding armed citizens.

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"More citizens must surely be able to defend themselves as the majority of people have no protection from police."

And South African television host Sizwe Dhlomo tweeted: "What’s going on with these tavern deaths? 14 shot dead in Soweto & then another 4 shot dead in Pietermaritzburg, 8 others injured."

According to South African law, you can have a gun if you're over the age of 21 and have a firearm license.

Anyone with that license can obtain four firearms and hold a maximum of 200 rounds of ammunition.

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