Six alleged robbers were shot dead by police in the small KwaZulu-Natal settlement of Seven Oaks barely hours after they had staged a robbery 200 kilometres away in Newcastle.

Police spokesman Major Thulani Zwane said that the suspects were spotted by police officers in Seven Oaks, which is about 30 kilometres south of Greytown.

A shoot-out ensued, in which six robbers were killed and three were wounded. No police officers were injured in the fire fight.

Zwane said that police believed the gang were involved in a spate of business robberies and possibly responsible for the death of at least one police officer.

He could not provide further details, except to say that the injured gang members had been taken to hospital under police guard.

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