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Archive for Friday, May 23, 2008

Immigrants fleeing after deadly attacks

May 23, 2008

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— Hundreds of immigrants boarded crowded buses for Mozambique and other African nations Thursday, passing bags and even babies through the windows in a rush to flee violent attacks against outsiders that have left 42 dead.

But many other immigrants - drawn to South Africa by hopes of a better life - say they have nowhere to run despite violence that has forced more than 25,000 from their homes.

South Africa's poorest have increasingly come to blame migrants from Zimbabwe and other African countries for domestic problems such as crime and unemployment. The frustration boiled over two weeks ago, when mobs tore through the slums of Johannesburg, leaving foreign victims burned alive, stabbed, shot or beaten to death.

In a bid to tamp down the violence, South Africa put soldiers on the streets of its commercial hub Thursday - the first time since the end of apartheid that the military has been deployed in Johannesburg.

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