Gunmen open fire, kill 8 at men's hostel in South Africa

Freeways or Highways with the city skyline in the background, Durban or eThekwini, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. (Photo by: Roger de la Harpe/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Gunmen burst into a room at a men’s hostel near the eastern South African city of Durban, killing eight people and leaving two others injured, police said Sunday, in the latest mass shooting in the country.

Seven men were declared dead immediately after the shooting in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday in the Umlazi township. An eighth man died on Sunday, police said.

Two others are hospitalized with injuries, and they include a man who jumped out of the window of the hostel room to escape the gunfire. Police said that 12 men were in the room drinking alcohol when numerous gunmen broke in, shot at them and then fled.

Two of the men in the room were unhurt.

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South Africa is among the 10 countries with the highest homicide rates in the world and there has been a spate of mass shootings in recent years. At least two mass shootings were reported earlier this year.

A child was among 10 family members who were killed at a house in April. Eight were shot dead at a birthday party in January.

Last year, 22 people were killed over one weekend in three separate shootings at bars in different parts of the country.

South Africa has reasonably strict gun laws but has serious problems with illegal firearms, police and community activists say.

An average of 30 people a day were killed by firearms in South Africa in the first three months of this year, according to official crime statistics. During the same three months, police recorded more than 4,000 cases of illegal possession of guns or ammunition.