Constitutional campaigners hit by Mugabe backers

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Associated Press

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 12:33 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — An alliance of rights groups says eight supporters of the Zimbabwe prime minister's party were assaulted while putting up 'Vote Yes' posters for Saturday's referendum on a new constitution.

The Crisis Coalition said victims of the attack Friday in the volatile Harare township of Mbare included future parliamentary candidate Stan Zworwadawere.

A visiting British Broadcasting Corporation news crew witnessed the assault.

BBC correspondent Andrew Harding said "an increasingly large and agitated crowd" tried to grab the crew's camera, threw dirty water at them and punched them on their arms and backs without inflicting serious injuries.

The Mbare township has been the scene of recent violence blamed on a youth gang known as Chipangano, or, in the local Shona language, brotherhood, is a group loyal to President Robert Mugabe.

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