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Two More Zimbabwe Opposition Supporters Killed - 2002-02-08

Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change says two more of its supporters have been killed. Meanwhile, police have arrested 40 other MDC supporters, including three members of parliament, for holding an illegal campaign rally. One of the legislators is in critical condition after being beaten up.

MDC Secretary General, Welshman Ncube, says members of the youth militia of the ruling party killed one of the MDC supporters. He says the other person was killed by a mob of ruling party supporters.

State media report that police have confirmed one of the deaths, the man killed by the mob, and have arrested 15 people in connection with the death. Police officials have not given any information about the background of those arrested. Officials of the ruling ZANU-PF party have not responded to Mr. Ncube's charges.

At least 19-people, almost all of them opposition supporters, have been killed in political violence this year in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, police say 40 people were arrested at Nkayi, 400-kilometers southwest of Harare, for holding a rally without first giving authorities four-days notice. Under a law passed two-weeks ago, the Public Order Act, such notifications are now required in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Ncube charged that soldiers of the Zimbabwe army joined forces with the police and beat up the three parliamentarians.

The MDC secretary general says the three are being detained at a police station and are not receiving medical attention. He says one of the men is bleeding severely and his life is in danger.

A team of foreign observers is in Zimbabwe preparing for next month's presidential election, and Mr. Ncube has urged the team to go to Nkayi to obtain first-hard evidence of what is being done to opposition supporters.