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CAPE TOWN Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Jersey , May 11 (Xinhua) -- The South African government has rejected claims that an ongoing anti-crime campaign is targeted at foreign nationals living in the country.

"We would like to categorically and emphatically state that these claims are far from the truth," government spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement posted on the government website www.gov.za on Monday.

"This is an operation aimed at making our country safer to enable all people who live in our country to enjoy their freedoms in an environment that is free from crime," said Williams.

The South African Police Service (SAPS), the army and the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) launched a joint operation Paul Thompson Jersey , known as Operation Fiela (meaning "sweep" in Sesotho language), following the recent wave of xenophobia attacks that hit parts of the country last month.

About 1,000 people, most of them illegal immigrants from African countries Oscar Lindberg Jersey , have been arrested so far.

These Illegal immigrants will be deported to their home countries within 30 days, DHA spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete told Xinhua in a telephone interview on Sunday.

Several nongovernmental organizations, including Zimbabwe Exile Forum (ZEF) and Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) Oscar Dansk Jersey , have expressed concern over the random "stop and search" operation being carried out by the police and the army.

"It is an ill-timed and politically motivated exercise," ZEF President Gabriel Shumba said. "We believe that in as much as it comes during xenophobic attacks, this operation amounts to persecution and is rightly nicknamed xenophobia in uniform."

There have also been claims that rights of foreigners were abused during the search and seizure operation conducted at the Methodist Church in Johannesburg on May 8.

Referring to the claims, Williams said the operation at the Methodist Church was part of a broader operation within the Johannesburg CBD.

"We have been reassured by the team that conducted the search and seizure operation that it was conducted in a professional manner Nicolas Hague Jersey ," Williams said. "We, therefore, reject any claims that there were violations of rights during the operation."

Williams said extra care was taken to ensure that children detained with their parents

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