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Zimbabwe Political Violence Continues - 2002-02-22


Zimbabwe's opposition says police and government supporters have injured two South African election observers and shot at opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in separate incidents.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says the observers were injured Friday when a crowd of government supporters stormed MDC headquarters in the central town of Kweke. The opposition party says five of its members also were injured in the attack.

South Africa has not yet officially commented on the report.

In another reported incident Friday, the opposition party says police shot at Mr. Tsvangirai and other MDC leaders while breaking up a campaign rally in southern Zimbabwe. Mr. Tsvangirai was not injured.

Police told Reuters news agency they are investigating the report. Also Friday, a group of Southern African lawmakers expressed concern that the violence might undermine the prospects for a free and fair presidential election next month in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Tsvangirai is challenging President Robert Mugabe in next month's presidential election. The international community has expressed concern at ongoing, government-sponsored violence against the opposition.

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