02:23 - Source: CNN
Anti-immigrant attacks kill 5 in Rainbow Nation

Story highlights

A charity group is preparing aid packages for those who want to return home

The attacks have left 5 dead -- two immigrants and three South Africans

A 14-year-old boy is among those killed after a mob with machetes targeted foreigners

(CNN) —  

Thousands sought refuge in temporary shelters after mobs with machetes attacked immigrants in Durban.

Heavily armed police have scrambled to stop clashes after local residents accused immigrants from other African nations of taking their jobs.

The attacks in Durban killed two immigrants and three South Africans, including a 14-year-old boy, authorities said.

“There has been an outpouring of support from ordinary South Africans who are disgusted with the attacks not only because they are foreign, or African, but because they are fellow human beings,” said Gift of the Givers charity, which is helping those seeking refuge.

“We are preparing aid packages for those who may journey onwards to their home countries.”

The charity said last week that about 8,500 people had fled to refugee centers or police stations because of the violence.

The Gift of the Givers charity assured immigrants that it has a facility in Johannesburg to help those who might need shelter there.

“We have tents and all essential supplies on standby but pray that sanity prevails and this does not become necessary,” it said.

In the past, Johannesburg has been the epicenter of anti-immigrant tensions.

In 2008, scores were killed in attacks in the poorest areas of Johannesburg.