Zimbabwe groups claim at least 12 killed in unrest

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Police stand guard as people arrested during protests appeal in court in Harare, Zimbabwe, January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
Riot police in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare look on as protesters setup barricades as they protest the government’s decision to hike fuel prices.

A collection of Zimbabwe human rights groups says at least 12 people have been killed, at least 78 have been shot and more than 240 have faced “assault, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment” in a crackdown on protests that began on Monday over a dramatic rise in fuel prices.

The Associated Press reports that the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum in a statement also said 466 people have been arbitrarily arrested or detained in what it calls “massive” violations.

The statement says children as young as 9 have been reportedly tortured as security forces break into private homes.

It calls it “regrettable” that Zimbabwe’s government is blaming civil society leaders for some of the country’s worst unrest in years.