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Blood By The Tracks In Rural Midlands, Zimbabwe, As Violence Continues

Deadly political violence is continuing in Zimbabwe despite efforts by African Union leaders to encourage power-sharing between President Robert Mugabe and his opposition: sources in Midlands province reported the discovery of six bodies by the Gweru-Kwekwe rail line near the village of Matshekandumba, situated about 30 kilometers from Midlands capital Gweru.

Attempts to reach police in Gweru were unsuccessful. But local sources said one of the dead men was a state security agent who tried to stop colleagues from killing local villagers.

Sources said state agents had been terrorizing villagers in the area for days, beating them for failing to cast ballots in the June 27 presidential run-off election two days after which President Robert Mugabe was declared the winner and inaugurated.

Matshekandumba villagers were said have fled the area after the bodies were discovered.

Midlands Chairman Peter Muchengeti of the National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, who has been helping local villagers, told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that killings have been on the rise since the run-off.

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