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Durban - Humanitarian aid group the Gift of the Givers worked late into Tuesday night in Durban to help move groups of foreign nationals to safety, after a tense day of stand-offs between police and local and foreign residents.

“We are fetching people as we speak,” Dr Abdirisack Hashi told News24. 

“We are trying to rescue some families who say they are stuck in a house.”'

The families would join up to 7 000 people made up of “almost 10 different nations” living in tents provided by the KwaZulu-Natal government for those displaced by violence in the province, which Hashi claimed started on March 29.

Four hundred people were moved out of KwaMashu on Monday night after tensions flared-up and a teenager was shot dead, he said.

So far five people have died in the violence, being branded as xenophobic attacks. 

Two of those killed were originally from Ethiopia and the police hope to be able to provide further details on Wednesday. 

At least 46 people have been arrested.

Hashi said they had fetched people from Isipingo, Chatsworth, Mariannhill and in Durban's CBD.

Besides safe accommodation, their immediate need is for ready-to-eat food, because they are not allowed to cook near the tents, he explained.