The Zimbabwe government says there has been an attempt on the life of its air force chief, Perence Shiri, who survived the ambush by gunmen who shot him in the hand.  The news follows accusations by the government that the Movement for Democratic Change is training militants in neighboring Botswana.

State media reports that Air Marshall Perence Shiri was allegedly shot in the hand while driving to a farm near Harare, which he seized from a white farmer several years ago.

Home affairs minister Kembo Mohadi said the attack appears to be a build-up of terror attacks targeting high-profile people and government officials.  He did not provide details. 

Crime is on an upswing as Zimbabwe runs out of food and money.

Shiri was in charge of the notorious Fifth Brigade of the Zimbabwe National Army in the 1980s when thousands of opposition supporters, who were also from the minority Ndebele tribe, were murdered on government orders.

He is reported to be in the hospital in stable condition.

The government is accusing the Movement for Democratic Change of training what it calls "bandits" in Botswana, charges denied by the MDC and the Botswana government.

Abductions continue

Meanwhile, abductions in Zimbabwe continue.  The latest  known to have been kidnapped is Shadreck Manyere, a well-known Harare photojournalist, who was taken Saturday from Norton, a small town about 30 kilometers north of Harare.

His wife says he had gone to Norton to have his vehicle repaired.  After her husband's disappearance, she said police came to the couple's house and took away his equipment.

Lawyers looking into Manyere's disappearance and the disappearance of nearly 30 others, say they have no information about the whereabouts of their clients, even though the police have been ordered by the High Court to produce them.

Among those also kidnapped is Zimbabwe Peace Project Director Jestina Mukoko and three of her colleagues.  About 23 officials and supporters of the MDC have also been snatched.

Rights groups deem 2008 most violent for Zimbabwe

Human rights monitors say 2008 is proving to be the most violent year during the past 20 in Zimbabwe.  Since the March 29 elections at least 200 people have been killed, thousands of MDC supporters injured and their homes destroyed, and an unknown number of informal diamond miners have been attacked by security forces.

Hopes for an inclusive government following the September political agreement signed by the country's main political leaders, have faded.  Political analysts say internal tensions are rising with shortages of food, cash, and an ongoing cholera epidemic that has claimed nearly 1,000 lives since August.