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Power slips from Mugabe as military steps in

Soldiers stand beside military vehicles just outside Harare, Zimbabwe, on November 14, 2017.  PHOTO | REUTERS | Philimon Bulawayo
Soldiers stand beside military vehicles just outside Harare, Zimbabwe, on November 14, 2017. PHOTO | REUTERS | Philimon Bulawayo  

Zimbabwe's military appeared to be in control of the country Wednesday as generals denied staging a coup but used state television to vow to target "criminals" close to President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe's decades-long grip on power was dramatically weakened as military vehicles blocked roads outside the parliament in Harare and senior soldiers delivered a late-night television address to the nation.

"We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president... and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed," Major General Sibusiso Moyo said, slowly reading out a statement.

"We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes... As soon as we have accomplished our mission we expect that the situation will return to normalcy."

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