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Zimbabwe crisis: Soldiers 'take over broadcaster ZBC'

From BBC - November 14, 2017

Soldiers are reported to have taken over the headquarters of Zimbabwe's national broadcaster, ZBC, amid a growing political crisis.

Explosions have also been reported in the capital, Harare, but the cause is unclear.

Earlier, the country's ambassador in South Africa denied talk of a coup.

Zimbabwe's ruling party has accused the country's army chief of "treasonable conduct" after he warned of a possible military intervention.

General Constantino Chiwenga had challenged President Robert Mugabe after he sacked the vice-president.

Gen Chiwenga said the army was prepared to act to end purges within Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

Tensions were raised further on Tuesday when armoured vehicles were seen taking up positions on roads outside Harare, although their purpose was unclear.

Some staff at ZBC were manhandled when soldiers took over their offices in Harare late on Tuesday evening, sources told Reuters.

Workers were told that they "should not worry", a source added, and that soldiers were only there to protect the site.

Soon afterwards, witnesses reported three loud explosions in the city centre, although the exact location is unclear.

The US State Department said it was "closely monitoring" the situation in Zimbabwe and urged all parties to resolve disputes "calmly and peacefully".

The US embassy in Harare tweeted that it would be closed on Wednesday "due to ongoing uncertainty".

It also advised US citizens in Zimbabwe to "shelter in place" until further notice.

There has been no word so far from 93-year-old President Mugabe or his representatives.

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