Three 'rhino poachers' shot by rangers in South Africa

This file photo taken on July 21, 2010 shows a rhinocero grazing in the private Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in Krugersdorp, north of Johannesburg. South Africa recorded more than 300 cases of poaching last year

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Three suspected rhino poachers have been shot and killed by rangers in South Africa's Kruger National Park.

Security forces confronted a gang of five at the well-known tourist destination. Another member of the group was wounded.

Rangers say they recovered a firearm, ammunition and other tools used for rhino poaching from the scene.

It is the latest in a series of attempts to reverse the rising trade.

Demand for rhino horn has soared in recent years - fuelled by the belief in parts of Asia that it has medicinal properties.

The black market price of rhino horn is now in the region of £35,000 ($55,000) a kilogram.

Last year, South Africa recorded more than 300 cases of poaching.

Despite the prospect of high-level prosecutions, the financial rewards for criminals are helping to fuel the trade.

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