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Zimbabwean military official shot

Dec. 16, 2008 at 7:55 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- A Zimbabwean military commander said to be the leader of President Robert Mugabe's crackdown on political opposition earlier this year was shot, officials said.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that Air Marshall Perence Shiri was shot in the hand Saturday during a nighttime ambush.

The Mugabe administration claimed that the shooting was an assassination attempt and part of an effort to destabilize the country.

However, a senior opposition official said he believed the shooting was the result of a internecine battle within the ruling ZANU-PF party over who will succeed Mugabe, 84, who has been in power for 28 years.

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