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Police raid opposition leader's house

21 July 2016, 09:40

Lusaka, July 20, 2016 (AFP) -Zambian police on Wednesday raided the home of an opposition leader, arresting 28 activists as tensions escalated ahead of closely-fought presidential elections next month.

Geoffrey Mwamba, vice president of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), said on Facebook that police had "raided and teargassed" his house while his family were inside.

He said his grandchildren had been taken to hospital, without giving further details.

Police in Kasama, 850 kilometres (530 miles) north of Lusaka, confirmed they had detained UPND supporters who were alleged to have stripped down and defaced campaign posters of President Edgar Lungu.

The group ran to hide in Mwamba's house, they said.

"We managed to pick 28 of them and they are in detention," Northern Province police commissioner Bonny Kapeso told AFP, adding they were found in possession of machetes, iron roads and catapults.

"When the police followed them to the house they started throwing stones at us," he said.

UPND's leader Hakainde Hichilema is challenging President Lungu in the August 11 election vote.

Earlier this month, campaigning in Lusaka was suspended for 10 days because of violent clashes between supporters of Lungu's Patriotic Front (PF) and the UPND.



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