Zimbabwe’s army said it detained longtime President Robert Mugabe and seized control of state broadcasters in an apparent coup in the southern African nation.
Military vehicles rolled into the streets of the capital, Harare, late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.
“We are only targeting criminals around [Mugabe] who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice,” the army announced on state-run media.
The army also urged other security forces to “cooperate for the good of our country” and warned that “any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.”
It wasn’t immediately clear where the 93-year-old Mugabe, president since 1987, was on Wednesday morning, but the army said he was and his wife were safe.
Chris Mutsvangwa, head a war veterans group, issued a statement, praising Gen. Constantino Chiwenga for carrying out “a bloodless correction of gross abuse of power.”
Mutsvangwa said the army will return Zimbabwe to a “genuine democracy.”
Mutsvangwa’s group is closely aligned with Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president fired by Mugabe last week.
Washington and London urged US and UK citizens to stay indoors for the time being.
“U.S. citizens in Zimbabwe are encouraged to shelter in place until further notice,” according to a statement from the US embassy.
The British Foreign & Commonwealth Office urged UK nationals “currently in Harare to remain safely at home or in their accommodation until the situation becomes clearer.”