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S. AFRICAN SWEEP BRINGS 1,742 ARRESTS

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Stung by accusations that criminals are getting the upper hand in the new South Africa, 18,000 police and army troops fanned out overnight and hauled in 1,742 lawbreakers.

The South African Police Service said more than 2,500 roadblocks were set up nationwide, 35,000 vehicles scrutinized and 3,000 homes and businesses searched.Four people accused of killing police were arrested, spokesman Col. Ruben Bloomberg said.

More than 160 South African police officers were killed by criminals in 1994 and 270 in 1993, making the murder of police one of South Africa's most pressing crime problems. Catching even a few alleged cop-killers "will boost the chaps' morale a bit," Bloomberg said.

Similar crackdowns will be held every few weeks, he said.

Desk officers were called out to take part in crackdown, as well as reservists and some army troops.