Witnesses have reported gunfire near Robert Mugabe’s private mansion
Gunfire and explosions have broken out in Harare, Zimbabwe following a warning by a military chief that the armed forces are ready to ”step in” to the political row, witnesses have reported.
A number of local residents have reported hearing at least 10 rounds of shots and three explosions in the capital.
The US Embassy in Zimbabwe has ordered employees and US citizens to take cover and find shelter amid worries a coup may be underway.
The UK has told citizens in Zimbabwe to stay indoors amid reports of “unusual military activity”.
Soldiers stormed the headquarters of Zimbabwe’s ZBC state broadcaster in the early hours of Wednesday, two members of staff and a human rights worker said, compounding speculation of a coup against 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe.
Explosions and gunfire in Zimbabwe capital as ‘army storm TV station’
Some ZBC members of staff were manhandled when soldiers occupied the premises, the sources said.
However, staff were told they “should not worry” as the soldiers were merely there to protect the site, one source added.
General Constantino Chiwenga had challenged President Robert Mugabe after he sacked the vice-president.
Gen Chiwenga said the army was prepared to act to end purges within Mr Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.
Zimbabwe’s ruling party has accused the country’s army chief of “treasonable conduct” after he warned of a possible military intervention.