S Africa reggae icon shot and killed-reports

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JOHANNESBURG, Oct 19 (Reuters) South African reggae star Lucky Dube was shot and killed in front of his son and daughter, local media reported today.

Dube, 43, was killed in an apparent carjacking attempt yesterday and police were searching for three suspects, SABC Radio News and the South African Press Association (SAPA) said.

Dube, who recorded more than 20 albums in his career, was the biggest-selling reggae singer in South Africa and has won over 20 awards locally and internationally.

SAPA reported that the singer was attacked at around 0010 hrs ist when he was dropping his son off in Johannesburg's Rossetenville suburb.

''His son was already out of the car. When he saw what was happening, he ran to ask for help,'' SAPA quoted police spokeswoman Cheryl Engelbrecht as saying.

Dube's killing is one of the most high-profile killings in South Africa, which has one of the world's worst murder rates.

The number of rapes, carjackings and assaults also are high, with some of the most violent types of crime rising last year despite efforts to beef up police forces.

REUTERS SYU KP1131

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