National mourning for victims of xenophobic violence

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Rocked by Xenophobic violence, South Africa has set a side a day of national mourning later this month in honour of those killed in a recent wave of xenophobic violence.

The South African Government on Friday said the it will observed on June 24.

At least 21 of the 62 people killed in the violence were South Africans.

Police and government officials have refused to comment on why South Africans would have been targeted in the attacks, saying investigations were continuing.

Government described the violence as “senseless”.

The day will not be a holiday but a “day on which the public will be expected to pay its respect to those who lost their lives during the violence”, it said.

A tribute to the victims will be held in Pretoria, it also said.

During the attacks, a total of 1 300 incidents of violence were reported and more than 1 000 people were arrested, it added.

The violence broke out last month, with mobs attacking homes and looting immigrant-owned stores.

The worst of the violence was concentrated around Johannesburg, where foreigners have become targets of complaints by locals about high unemployment and crime levels.

Thousands fled South Africa for their home countries, while some 30 000 are living in shelters.

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