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Zimbabwe violence escalates

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Post-election violence in Zimbabwe has escalated sharply, with thousands of farmers pushed off their land and gangs loyal to President Robert Mugabe beating to death several opposition members. Fears of a political and economic meltdown have prompted some African leaders to intervene.

The number of opposition members killed has now risen to 32 following Zimbabwe's election on March 29, The Washington Post reports:

In response to the rising violence, South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, who has been criticized for his "soft diplomacy" on the crisis, traveled to Zimbabwe on Friday in his capacity as head of the Southern African Development Community, Agence France-Presse reported. He was to meet Mr. Mugabe for the first time since the March vote results were announced. Opposition members said they had not been contacted for any talks with Mr. Mbeki.

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