Seven people have been killed following a shootout with police in the Scottsville suburb of Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.

The police’s Thembeka Mbele said they were conducting an intelligence-driven operation about a notorious gang that had been abusing locals earlier on Tuesday.

She said they had received a tip-off that led them to a house that was being used by a suspected gang leader.

She said one of the deceased suspects had escaped from prison last month while four other men were being investigated for various crimes.

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