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Zimbabwe Police Extend Ban on Political Rallies in Capital

Police in Zimbabwe have extended a ban on political rallies and protests in parts of the capital, Harare.

Police spokesmen Thursday said demonstrations in four districts have been outlawed until June 23.

The government initially imposed a three-month ban on demonstrations in late February, shortly before launching a crackdown on the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

In March, main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and other MDC members were severely beaten as police shut down an attempted prayer rally in Harare.

The crackdown has led to renewed Western criticism of Zimbabwe's government and President Robert Mugabe. That government has not been able to turn around an economic crisis that has seen inflation jump to more than 3,700 percent amid shortages of food, fuel and other basic goods.

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