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Zimbabwe Accuses Western Media of Lies and Bias

Zimbabwe's government is accusing the western media of fabricating stories to create what it calls a climate of anxiety and alarm in the country.

Zimbabwe's Information Ministry singled out the U.S. Cable News Network, saying the network is trying to orchestrate a campaign of falsehoods to build international hostility toward Zimbabwe.

In a statement Thursday, the ministry also mentions several Western freelance reporters by name, including Peta Thornycroft, who contributes stories to the Voice of America.

It warns the reporters to stay away from security forces and to limit their time with an unnamed opposition politician who it accuses of giving them information. It says that if they do not, the government may be forced to act against them.

The United States and the European Union have been strongly critical of the Zimbabwean government's recent crackdown on political opponents. Several African nations have also expressed concern.

Zimbabwean police arrested and assaulted dozens of opposition supporters this month following an anti-government rally in the capital, Harare.

Several countries, including the United States, Britain and Australia, have threatened to increase sanctions against Zimbabwe and to take the issue before the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Dissent has been rising in Zimbabwe as citizens try to cope with shortages of food and fuel, and inflation of more than 1,700 percent.