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Surge In Zimbabwe Political Violence In October, Human Rights Group Says

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has reported a surge in political violence in October targeting the opposition Movement For Democratic Change and civic groups including Women of Zimbabwe Arise and the National Constitutional Assembly.

The consortium also reported that intimidation and harassment of student activists has continued unabated. Elsewhere, the report cited an incident in which police razed to the ground the shacks of Harare residents who lost their homes in 2005 in Operation Murambatsvina, the government's forced eviction and demolition drive.

The United Nations estimated that 700,000 Zimbabweans lost their homes or their livelihoods in Operation Murambatsvina (Shona for "Drive Out Rubbish").

The report closely followed a threat by one faction of the political opposition to pull out of South African-mediated crisis talks over continued state-sanctioned violence.

Home Affairs Secretary Sam Sipepa Nkomo of the Morgan Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change commented on the NGO Forum findings, saying his MDC formation is receiving "lots of reports from right across the country of intimidation, harassment, beating from our members."

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