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Zim protests: Toddler dies after 'inhaling teargas fumes'

12 July 2016, 13:33

Bulawayo - A distraught Zimbabwean father is mourning the death of his daughter after riot police fired teargas canisters inside their house in Bulawayo during last week's demonstrations, a report said over the weekend.

According to The Standard, Kupakwashe Mutasa, 1, inhaled the toxic teargas fumes after a teargas canister was fired inside the flat when the riot police were trying to apprehend young people who were chasing them with stones during the anti-president Robert Mugabe protests that engulfed the city on Wednesday. 

The baby was sleeping when police descended at the flats, and started firing teargas canisters inside the houses. 

The baby's father, David Mutasa, claimed that after he noticed that his daughter had difficulties to breath, he tried to get the police to help but his plea went into deaf ears.

The helpless father said he only managed to get his daughter out of the house after the riot police had left the area.

"... I only managed to try to seek medical attention after they left but it was too late as my child died on our way to the hospital," Mutasa was quoted as saying.

Youths in Bulawayo turned the country's second largest city upside down last week, as they burnt tyres in the middle of the roads and threw stones at the police.

This came as the hashtag #ShutdownZimbabwe gained momentum on social media, with many heeding to stay-away calls by activists.  

Reports indicated that the recent national "shutdown" strike closed many businesses, shops and schools , with public transport and some government departments and courts also ceasing to function.

- News24


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