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Zimbabwe Ruling Party Militia Wreaks Havoc In Bindura,  Mashonaland Central

Supporters of Zimbabwe's opposition in Bindura, Mashonaland Central province have suffered heavy property losses as hundreds of ruling party youth militia have attacked their homes and property, sources in the violence-stricken area said Thursday.

They said a woman was severely burned after she was pushed into the fire on which she was preparing her supper at the time of the attack late Wednesday.

A local magistrate was said to have gone into hiding after being threatened by the ruling party militia for dismissing charges against opposition members.

Political violence has raged in Zimbabwe's rural provinces since the country went to the polls on March 29 and handed the opposition a majority in parliament, sparking a campaign of revenge and intimidation by the ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, human rights organizations and other observers say.

In eastern Manicaland province, police set up a roadblock in Nyazura, Makoni South constituency at which they were said to have arrested 20 opposition activists by noon Thursday, according to MDC provincial spokesman Pishai Muchauraya.

Police in Rusape, Manicaland, continued to hold Buhera West member of parliament-elect Eric Matinenga after magistrates refused Wednesday to hear his case, arguing that they could not overrule a superior court decision instructing police to release him. Matinenga was arrested two weeks ago on charges of inciting violence, released after that high court decision, and then quickly re-arrested by the police.

MDC activist Tawanda Magaya of Bindura told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the situation in Bindura was tense as more ZANU-PF militia had entered town.

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