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The Latest: Zimbabwe military uses tear gas on protesters

January 15, 2019

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — The Latest on Zimbabwe demonstrations (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

A Zimbabwean military helicopter has fired tear gas at demonstrators blocking a road and burning tires on a second day of protests after the government more than doubled the price of fuel.

Soldiers have moved in to disperse crowds at the busy intersection and transport hub in the capital, Harare, amid Zimbabwe’s biggest unrest since deadly post-election violence in August. Witnesses also report violence in the eastern city of Mutare, where people attacked passenger buses and destroyed some shops.

Businesses and schools are shut down and public transport vehicles are grounded in most of the country.

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10:30 a.m.

A human rights group in Zimbabwe says five people were killed in clashes between demonstrators protesting fuel hikes and security forces who opened fire on some crowds.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights on Tuesday reported the death toll as many businesses in the capital, Harare, and other cities were closed following Monday’s violence. This is Zimbabwe’s biggest unrest since deadly post-election violence in August.

Another human rights group says 26 people suffered gunshot wounds and that some were afraid to go to hospitals for fear of arrest.

State security minister Owen Ncube says lives were lost, police officers were injured and property was damaged. He says more than 200 people were arrested and blames the main opposition MDC party and some civil society groups for the violence.

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