Egypt Independent: World-Main news en No 'Arab Spring' in Zimbabwe, Mugabe warns protesters <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>President Robert Mugabe warned protesters on Friday there would be no &quot;Arab Spring&quot; in Zimbabwe after anti-government demonstrations descended it to some of the worst violence seen in the southern African nation for two decades.</p><p>Zimbabwean police fired tear gas and water cannon at opposition leaders and hundreds of demonstrators at a protest against Mugabe and the ruling ZANU-PF, before unrest swept across large parts of the capital Harare.</p><p>&quot;They are thinking that what happened in the Arab Spring is going to happen in this country but we tell them that it is not going to happen here,&rdquo; Mugabe told state television, referring to a series of uprisings that toppled leaders across the Arab world.</p><p>Mugabe accused Western countries, including the United States, of sponsoring the protests.</p><p>&quot;They are fighting because of Americans,&rdquo; said Mugabe.&nbsp;</p><p>Earlier, opposition head Morgan Tsvangirai and former vice president Joice Mujuru fled a rally in their cars while protesters ran for cover as police broke up the core of the demonstration. However, anti-Mugabe leaders warned that this would be the first of a series of protests.</p><p>Mugabe&#39;s opponents have become emboldened by rising public anger and protests over an economic meltdown, cash shortages and high unemployment. Mugabe, 92, has led Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in 1980.</p><p>Clashes spread through the streets of the capital Harare as riot police fought running battles with protesters who hurled rocks at officers, set tyres ablaze and burned a popular market to the ground, in some of the worst unrest since food riots in 1998.</p><p>Didymus Mutasa, a senior official from Mujuru&#39;s party and convener of Friday&#39;s protest, vowed to repeat the demonstration a week from now and blamed police for the violence and disobeying a court order allowing the march to proceed.</p><p>&quot;If that was intended to cow us from demonstrating, I want to say the opposite has been the case. We are going next Friday to do exactly the same as we have done today,&quot; Mutasa told reporters.</p><p>Most businesses shut down early on Friday fearing looting by protesters. Mujuru said 50 people were injured and hospitalized.</p><p>&quot;Mugabe&#39;s rule must end now, that old man has failed us,&quot; said one protester before throwing a rock at a taxi.</p><p><strong>Riot police&nbsp;</strong></p><p>More than a hundred police officers in riot gear, backed up by water cannons and armored trucks, occupied the venue that opposition parties planned to use for their demonstration.</p><p>As opposition supporters arrived for the march, they were told by the police to leave. The officers then fired tear gas and water cannon when parts of the crowd refused to comply.</p><p>Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said the force was still assessing the day&#39;s events. &quot;We will let you know once we are done,&quot; she said.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">Officials from Mugabe&#39;s ruling ZANU-PF party were unavailable for comment.</span></p><p>&quot;Demonstrating is the only solution left to force the dictator out of office,&quot; said Tapfuma Make, an unemployed 24-year-old from Chitungwiza town, south of Harare.</p><p>Zimbabwe&#39;s High Court earlier ruled that police should allow the protest to proceed between 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. local time in what Tsvangirai&#39;s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) called a &quot;victory for democracy&quot;.</p><p>&quot;Today has been for me the worst day that I have lived in this country, where I have observed with my own eyes, the state breaking its own laws and the state starting violence by attacking people who were just gathered together,&quot; Mutasa said.&nbsp;</p><p>Opposition parties leading the protests say the electoral agency is biased in favor of the ruling ZANU-PF and is run by security agents loyal to Mugabe, charges the commission denies.</p><p>The protesters want the next vote in 2018 to be supervised by international observers, including the United Nations. They are also calling for Mugabe to fire corrupt ministers, scrap plans to introduce local bank notes and end cash shortages.</p><p>The latest demonstrations come nearly two months after the biggest large scale &#39;stay at home&#39; strike in Zimbabwe since 2007, inspired by social media movements such as #ThisFlag led by pastor Evan Mawarire.</p><p>Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo on Thursday called opposition leaders &quot;foreign agents&quot; using protests to cause chaos in order to justify international intervention.</p> Sat, 27 Aug 2016 07:43:00 +0000 Reuters 2472128 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/08/27/505021/zimbabwe_protests.jpg Bolivian miners lift roadblock after deputy minister beaten to death <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Protesting Bolivian miners on Friday abandoned a roadblock where a day earlier they kidnapped a government deputy minister, who was later found beaten to death.</p><p>President Evo Morales called for three days of national mourning and declared Friday a day of &quot;deep pain&quot; for the country.</p><p>Deputy Interior Minister Rodolfo Illanes, 56, was beaten to death on Thursday after being taken hostage by miners who had blocked a major highway near Panduro, around 160 km from capital city La Paz. Officials said he died of blows to the head.</p><p>The brutal killing of a senior minister has shocked the country and the violent protests highlight the conundrum Morales has of keeping his increasingly divergent core support happy at a time when income is tight.</p><p>The deputy minister had traveled to Panduro to negotiate with the miners on Thursday. His body was found early on Friday morning by the side of the highway that connects La Paz with the city of Oruro, wrapped in a blanket, said Edwin Blanco, the prosecutor in charge of the investigation.</p><p>&quot;The cause of death was basically bleeding in the brain. Ribs were also broken,&quot; Blanco told reporters.</p><p>Illanes&#39; assistant was also badly beaten and is in intensive care in a hospital in La Paz.</p><p>At least two miners were killed and 17 police injured earlier this week, authorities said, after they clashed when the protesters blocked the highway. On Friday the road was clear as they abandoned the blockade.</p><p>The miners - who belong to co-operatives digging for tin, zinc, silver and other metals rather than working for private employers - have been affected by the global fall in commodity prices. They say they want the government to loosen rules intended to protect the environment so they can increase output.</p><p>Their list of demands also includes being allowed to sign contracts with private companies, the reduction of tariffs on imported machinery, and government subsidies to help defray energy costs. They also do not want their subcontracted workers to be allowed to form unions.</p><p>Leaders and spokespersons from the National Federation of Mining Cooperatives of Bolivia, who had organized the week&#39;s protests, did not answer phone calls on Friday and did not comment in the media.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">Police said they had rounded up dozens for questioning in Oruro and La Paz. No-one has yet been charged for the killing.</span></p><p>Morales, an ex-coca grower, nationalized Bolivia&#39;s resources sector after taking power in 2006, initially winning plaudits for plowing the profits into welfare programs.</p><p>But his government has been dogged by accusations of cronyism and authoritarianism in recent years. Some workers have soured on him as falling commodity prices have crimped spending.</p><p>Most of the country&#39;s miners, including those involved in the protests, work in cooperatives. Unlike neighboring Peru and Chile, there are few foreign-owned mining companies.</p><p>Political violence is not unknown in Bolivia, one of South America&#39;s poorest countries. Six people died in an arson attack at a protest ahead of a referendum earlier this year, when Bolivians split over leftist Morales&#39; plans to change the constitution to allow him to run for office again.</p><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 27 Aug 2016 07:35:00 +0000 Reuters 2472126 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/08/27/505021/bolivian_miners.jpg Bangladesh security forces kill 'mastermind' of Dhaka cafe attack <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Bangladesh security forces killed four militants on Saturday, including the alleged mastermind of an attack on a cafe in Dhaka last month in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed, the head of Dhaka&#39;s counter-terrorism police unit told Reuters.</p><p>The militants were cornered in an early morning raid on their hideout in Naraynganj, on the outskirts of the capital, and were killed after refusing to surrender, Additional Commissioner of Police Monirul Islam said.</p><p>Bangladesh-born Canadian citizen Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, the alleged mastermind of the attack on the cafe, was among those killed.</p><p>Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the cafe attack and, while the government has dismissed the claim, security experts say the scale and sophistication of the assault suggested links to trans-national networks.</p><p>Analysts say Islamic State in April identified Chowdhury as its national commander.</p><p>The suspected Islamist militants singled out non-Muslims and foreigner hostages in the July 1 evening attack, killing Italians, Japanese, an American and an Indian before security forces stormed the eatery to end the 12-hour siege that has weighed on Bangladesh&#39;s multi-billion dollar garments industry.&nbsp;</p><p>The government says the July 1 attack - and another on July 26 in which police killed nine militants believed to be plotting a similar assault - were the work of domestic militants.</p> Sat, 27 Aug 2016 07:25:00 +0000 Reuters 2472124 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/07/05/505021/bangladesh_cafe.jpg Death toll in Somalia beach restaurant attack rises to 10 <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The death toll from an attack late on Thursday by Islamic militants on a seaside restaurant in the Somali capital Mogadishu has risen to 10, police said.<br /><br />The attackers set off a car bomb at the Banadir restaurant at the city&#39;s Lido beach before engaging security forces in a fight for several hours.<br /><br />The casualties comprised six civilians, two members of the security forces and two of the attackers, Ali Abdullahi, a police officer, said on Friday.<br /><br />Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab claimed the attack, which ended at around 3:00 a.m. local time, police said.<br /><br />The group has carried out a series of deadly attacks in Somalia to try to topple the Western-backed government.<br /><br />In a separate incident in southern Somalia, a roadside bomb planted by al-Shabaab militants injured 10 people, police said on Friday, raising the number of wounded from three initially.<br /><br />One of those wounded in the explosion in Baardhere town in Gedo region was the local district commissioner, police said.</p> Fri, 26 Aug 2016 12:08:00 +0000 Reuters 2472116 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/08/26/504802/somalia_bomb.jpg