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A man wearing a police uniform was among three would-be robbers killed by police in a botched cash robbery in Mpumalanga at the weekend.
Police received a tip-off about a plan to rob a security company's cash depot in Nelspruit and monitored the premises.
Police spokesman Inspector Dawie Pretorius said four men in a stolen Toyota Corolla with false registration numbers stormed into the depot and found police waiting for them.
"When police tried to arrest them, they opened fire, our members retaliated and the three suspects were fatally wounded," said Pretorius.
The fourth man, who remained in the vehicle, drove away during the shootout and was later arrested.
The car was later found abandoned.
Police arrested two other suspects, who were not involved in the storming of the depot.
The arrested men will appear in court today on charges of attempted armed robbery, attempted murder and murder.
"We are also investigating whether the suspect, who was in police uniform, was a cop or not," said Pretorius.