Zimbabwean security forces on Tuesday fired on hundreds of protesters who barricaded roads and burned tyres over fuel price rises of 150 per cent.
Protesters in the capital Harare and the second city of Bulawayo chanted slogans against President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who introduced the price rises on Sunday in the face of the country’s worst economic crisis in a decade.
At least 13 people were injured by gunfire and 12 were arrested in the protests, human rights lawyers and doctors said.
Opposition to the policy and deteriorating living conditions has galvanised the biggest protests since unrest over last year’s delayed presidential election, in which six people were killed.
In Harare, helicopters circled as protesters burned cars and blocked roads with boulders, street signs and burning tyres.
A tollgate on the major route from the city to the border town of Beitbridge, in South Africa was destroyed, leaving only a steel gantry.
Businesses closed early and commuters and schoolchildren struggled to get home as taxis stayed off the streets. Internal flights were cancelled and low-cost African airline Fastjet halted flights to and from the country.