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Villagers Disarm Assailants In Eastern Zimbabwe's Manicaland Province

Incidents of violence continued Monday in Zimbabwe's rural areas where ruling party militants and other elements are accused of mounting a campaign of intimidation and physical attacks - some fatal - against those suspected of voting for the opposition in March 29 national elections in which it claimed a parliamentary majority.

Sources in the Headlands Constituency of Manicaland Province said about 15 armed ruling party militia members and soldiers Monday morning attacked a family suspected of backing the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, but the assailants were overpowered by seized a loaded AK-47 assault rifle from a soldier in the group.

Two villagers aged 64 and 84 were injured in the fight and were rushed to a hospital in Mutare, local sources said. War veterans and militia members are said to have set up torture camps at Nyamukamani in Village 4-C where homes were burned down this weekend. Another camp has reportedly been set up at Fairfield in Ward 37.

In Makoni North, 35 MDC members were arrested this weekend on charges of inciting violence. Mutare police raided a house in the Chikanga district which they believed to be harboring MDC victims of violence, but failed to make any arrests.

In Shamva South, Mashonaland Central Province, more than 169 houses have been burned down since Thursday, with Bushu and Jiti worst affected, a source said.

Headlands Ward Councilor Mununudzi Chitsa, who reported the clash there to local police, told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that he does not see an end to violence because the police in Manicaland are not pursuing or arresting the perpetrators.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...