Wild gunfight follows mid-town heist

Kamva Mokoena

Kamva Mokoena

A wild shootout between heavily armed bank robbers and police had shoppers running for their lives in the middle of Bizana, Eastern Cape.

The incident happened yesterday morning after a group of gunmen entered the town's branch of First National Bank.

Two police officers were shot and wounded - one seriously - by the robbers, who managed to escape with an estimated R7000.

Two shoppers were also slightly injured.

The town of Bizana was blockaded as police exchanged gunfire with the robbers.

Despite Bizana police calling for back up, a dragnet involving helicopters and dogs failed to catch the robbers.

Police spokesman Mlungisi Mathidane said they had launched a massive manhunt for the robbers.

It is not yet known if the robbers were local criminals.

"The officer who was seriously injured, was transferred to a private hospital," said Mathidane, who declined to name the hospital for security reasons.