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Zimbabwe Arrests 22,000 People During Illegal Housing Crackdown


Police destroy a home on a farm in Harare
Zimbabwe police say they have arrested more than 22,000 people during a two-week campaign against illegal shantytowns and makeshift market stalls.

Assistant police commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena is quoted in the state-run Herald newspaper as saying 22,735 people have been arrested during sweeps throughout Zimbabwe.

Thousands of illegal market stalls and homes have been torched and demolished. The government says the operation aims to stamp out Zimbabwe's black market and clean up its cities.

Meanwhile, the leader of Zimbabwe's main opposition group, the Movement for Democratic Change, says the campaign has turned Zimbabwe into a massive internal refugee center.

Morgan Tsvangirai says millions of dollars in property has been destroyed, with families now homeless and without jobs. He called for organized resistance and asked the international community to pressure the government.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.