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ZIMBABWE

Tsvangirai claims assassination plot

NAIROBI, Kenya — Zimbabwe’s opposition party yesterday accused the country's military of plotting to assassinate presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai.

The Movement for Democratic Change said Mr. Tsvangirai planned to return to Zimbabwe to run in the June 27 runoff election once security measures are in place to protect him.

On Saturday, the opposition said it had received details of an assassination plot as Mr. Tsvangirai was on his way to the airport in Johannesburg to return home.

“The assassination plot involves snipers,” party Secretary-General Tendai Biti told the Associated Press after a news conference in the Kenyan capital yesterday. He said 18 snipers were involved in the plot.

“It is the military [plotting], the [Joint Operational Command] that has been running the country” since the March 29 election, Mr. Biti said. “I cannot speak [more] of that because it would put a lot of lives at risk.”

Zimbabwean officials could not immediately be reached for comment yesterday on the accusations.

INDIA

Poisoned alcohol leaves 73 dead

NEW DELHI — Locally brewed liquor apparently tainted with lethal chemicals killed 73 people in southern India, police said.

Bootleggers began selling the deadly brew on Saturday after police closed authorized liquor shops in parts of the Karnataka state because of voting for the state government, said Sri Kumar, the state police chief. In India, liquor stores and bars are routinely closed during elections.

Since Saturday, 73 people, most of them poor laborers, have died and several others were in hospital, Chief Kumar said.

Eight people have been arrested for selling the concoction, and police were analyzing the drink to determine what made it so deadly.

Deaths from illicitly brewed liquor are frequent in Indian villages and towns, where locally made brew is often spiked with pesticides or chemicals to make it stronger.

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