British journalist reportedly held in Zimbabwe

The Foreign Office said today that it is urgently looking into reports that a British journalist has been detained in Zimbabwe.

Security agents and police entered a hotel in the capital Harare yesterday, taking away five journalists.

It is believed that two were arrested for reporting without accreditation.

Security agents and paramilitary police in riot gear were reported to be surrounding a hotel housing foreign journalists in Zimbabwe last night.

A man answering the phone at the hotel in the capital, Harare, said they were taking away some reporters.

The man refused to give his name but said about 30 police entered the hotel and were preparing to take away four or five journalists.

Foreign journalists are in Zimbabwe to cover elections in which President Robert Mugabe’s party lost control of parliament. He is apparently facing a run-off for the presidency.

Police also raided opposition party offices tonight in what a top party official called the start of a government crackdown in the wake of the elections.

Officers raided and ransacked several rooms at a downtown hotel used by the Movement for Democratic Change, party secretary-general Tendai Biti told the Associated Press, calling it the beginning of a “crackdown” on the opposition. No-one was arrested.

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