Is Zimbabwe Sending Commandos to Kill Libyan Protesters?

Reports say Mugabe could be sending in troops to support Qaddafi

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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe might be flying commandos to Libya to crack down on protesters there, the Zimbabwe Mail reports. In Harare, the unverified reports circulating among military and intelligence workers is that a Russian aircraft flew troops out of the city early Tuesday morning. The Economist also says Zimbabweans--along with troops from Chad and Guinea--are the mercenaries shooting from helicopters at people demanding Muammar Qaddafi step down.

The Libyan ambassador to India, Ali al Essawi, told Al Jazeera that protesters say the troops "are black Africans and they don't speak Arabic. They are doing terrible things, going to houses and killing women and children." Qaddafi has also exploited his ties to African warlords to bring in these mercenaries, the Christian Science Monitor's Scott Baldauf reports.

Zimbabwe is seen as a potential safe haven for Qaddafi if he is forced to flee Libya.

Forty-six Zimbabweans were arrested five nights ago after being charged with trying to overthrow Mugabe "the Egyptian way." They have yet to be released, and the charges carry a possible death sentence. The U.S. State Department has condemned the arrest, the Associated Press' Gillian Gotora reports.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.