Troops Run Amok in Zimbabwe Capital

Police, soldiers clash after unpaid troops turn to robbing, looting
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2008 7:52 AM CST
A member of the Zimbabwe National Army walks past a looted shop in Harare, Monday, Dec. 1, 2008.    (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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(Newser) – Unpaid Zimbabwean soldiers battled riot police on the streets of Harare today, venting their frustration after waiting all day to withdraw money from a bank, the BBC reports. Dozens of troops ran riot before order was restored, robbing moneychangers, looting shops, and encouraging civilians to join them. Some passers-by threw stones while other cheered on the troops.

The violence comes amid a water shortage and a cholera outbreak in the Zimbabwean capital. The county's economic disintegration has exacerbated a cash shortage, in which citizens can withdraw only a small amount of money per day.