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Zimbabwe's President Mugabe Warns Opposition Against Further Unrest

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has warned opposition supporters against further acts of unrest.

Speaking on state-run radio earlier Saturday, Mr. Mugabe accused members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change of attacking police during a rally last week. He said police will be armed and prepared to act in the event of further unrest.

Last Sunday, police broke up an opposition gathering in the capital, Harare. Several opposition leaders say they were brutally beaten, including MDC party head Morgan Tsvangirai. He was released from a hospital in Harare Friday after treatment for head injuries.

African Union chairman Alpha Oumar Konare issued a statement today calling on Zimbabwe to show respect for human rights.

Opposition groups have vowed to continue fighting the Mugabe government until democratic change comes to Zimbabwe.

President Mugabe also has accused Western diplomats in Zimbabwe of funding his political opponents and has threatened to deport any diplomat found attending an opposition gathering.

Officials in Britain, Australia and the United States are calling for increased sanctions in response to the crackdown, and have threatened to take the issue before the United Nations Human Rights Council. London also is pressing the U.N. Security Council to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe. However, South Africa, which holds the Council presidency, opposes the move.

Zimbabwe's citizens are coping with an economic crisis marked by food shortages and 1,700 percent inflation.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.