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A dramatic gun battle between police and a gang of suspected house robbers played out on Fields Hill‚ west of Durban‚ as the highwaymen beat a hasty retreat on Monday.

Five men were killed and a sixth was badly wounded after their car‚ peppered by police gunfire‚ left the road and crashed.

Elite Dog Unit policemen are understood to have tracked down the gang as they travelled toward the city.

When the alleged house robbers realised they were being followed they opened fire on officers‚ who returned a salvo of bullets.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said that officers had been following up on information which led them to chase the luxury SUV on the M13.

“Suspects were travelling in a white ML Mercedes [suspected to be] involved in a number of robberies in Kloof and Pinetown.

“The members attempted to intercept the car but they came under fire. The suspects started to fire shots at the members and they retaliated‚” Mbhele said.

She said that two TV sets‚ a digital camera and other belongings were found inside the car.

RescueCare spokesman Garrith Jamieson said that medics had received a report about the shooting and rushed to the scene.

They arrived to find that an SUV had left the road and overturned before rolling repeatedly down an embankment.

“One man sustained gunshot wounds and was in a serious condition. He was treated and stabilised at the scene before he was transported by ambulance under police guard to hospital.”

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