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In Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Food Shortages Lead To Deadly Stampede


A stampede by hundreds of shoppers at a supermarket in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, led to the death of a security guard and serious injuries to a 10-year-old boy Wednesday as pressure from a mob determined to buy sugar caused a wall to collapse.

Witnesses said the security guard at the Entumbane Shopping Complex was trying to unlock a gate to admit people who had been in a queue since dawn to buy sugar.

Police in Bulawayo said they could not provide information on the incident because the provincial spokesman for the Zimbabwe Republic Police was out of the office.

Zimbabwe is experiencing severe shortages of basic commodities such as maize meal and sugar following a controversial government campaign to force prices lower in the face of hyperinflation which was last seen approaching an annual 5,000%.

Bulawayo resident Peter Dube, at the supermarket during the incident, told reporter Patience Rusere that people in the crowd were so determined to buy sugar that they insisted the commodity be put on sale even after the death of the guard.

He said people in the crowd insisted that his death was "not their fault."

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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