Baby snatched in 'car-jacking' in South Africa

A major search operation is now underway

Fears are growing for a baby girl who was snatched during an apparent armed car-jacking, prompting a major search on the streets of Durban, South Africa.

One-month-old Siwaphiwe Mbambo's mother was breastfeeding her inside the car when they were targeted in the South African city.

The infant was in the car as it was driven off, but her mother and older brother were left behind in the attack on Friday.

The car was found abandoned with Siwaphiwe and her baby seat missing in nearby Montclair.

More than 100 officers and people across Durban are searching streets and the surrounding area and police have said they will scour the whole city.

Local media reported that police feared Siwaphiwe may have been taken as a hostage but this has not been confirmed.

Police spokesman Thulani Zwane said: "Up to now the infant has not been found and police will continue their search.

"It's alleged that the mother was breastfeeding her child in the car and the two suspects came and hijacked the vehicle and took the baby.

"Later the vehicle was recovered where it was found abandoned. Up to now the baby is still missing. She was last seen wearing a vest and nappies."

Marshall Security spokesperson Kyle van Reenen said the two suspects were armed with pistols.

He said: "Whoever has the child, if they are holding her, they should consider the baby's well-being. Everyone is concerned. We really want a positive outcome from this."

A number of people took to social media to offer sympathy and prayers that Siwaphiwe is found safe and well.
More than £15,000 (€17,000) has been put up as reward money for any information that leads to finding Siwaphiwe.

Additional reporting from IRN