Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Post-Election Violence Worsens in Zimbabwe

JOHANNESBURG, May 7 -- Gangs of ruling party youths beat to death 11 opposition activists in a single remote Zimbabwean town Monday, setting a gruesome new standard for the post-election violence surging through that nation, according to opposition party officials.

Two large truckloads of youths, led by two senior members of President Robert Mugabe's party, marauded through Chiweshe, about 90 miles north of Harare, and beat prominent members of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change with branches, gun butts, bicycle chains and whips, party officials said. Four of the victims were teachers, and at least two were elderly.

The deaths brought to at least 32 the number of opposition activists killed in the past two weeks, said party spokesman Nelson Chamisa. Thousands of others have been beaten, tortured, arrested, kidnapped or chased from their homes since the March 29 election, opposition officials say.

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