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津巴布韦军方否认军事接管政府 Zimbabwe's Military Denies Military Takeover







Zimbabwe's military said Wednesday it is not carrying out a military takeover of the government and that both longtime President Robert Mugabe and his family are safe.

"We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice," the military said in a statement on state television.

The announcement followed witness reports of at least three explosions and heavy gunfire in the capital city of Harare early Wednesday.

Witnesses also said military vehicles and soldiers were on the streets early Wednesday, hours after soldiers took over Zimbabwe's state broadcaster, ZBC. Local residents said instead of the usual 11 p.m. newscast, music videos were played instead.

A spokesman at the U.S. embassy in Harare told VOA the streets appeared calm overnight Wednesday and had no confirmed sightings of military vehicles. The embassy warned Americans via its web site to "shelter in their residences" and work from home on Wednesday. They said the embassy will be minimally staffed and closed to the public.

A State Department official said the United States "encourages all Zimbabweans to approach disputes calmly and peacefully while following democratic, transparent, and constitutional processes for resolving differences."