Tsvangirai seeks embassy refuge

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Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has taken refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare.

A
Dutch foreign ministry spokesman said Mr Tsvangirai had spent the night
at the embassy as he feared for his safety but had not requested asylum.

On
Sunday, he announced he was withdrawing from the 27 June presidential
elections in the face of violence from ruling party militias.

Zimbabwean officials have said a run-off election will still go ahead.

Justice
Minister Patrick Chinamasa said Mr Tsvangirai’s withdrawal announcement
was a ruse as he had not sent a formal notice yet.

Considering future

The BBC’s Peter Biles in Johannesburg says Mr Tsvangirai is now considering his next move, but he remains in the Dutch compound.

Dutch
Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said that if Mr Tsvangirai was looking
for safety at the diplomatic mission, he was welcome.

Mr Tsvangirai blames supporters of President Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF party for the death of 86 of his supporters.

On
Monday, more than 60 supporters of Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) party were arrested at its Harare headquarters.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said those arrested were women and children who had fled political violence.

Source: BBC