Witnesses report soldiers and armoured vehicles approaching Harare, leading many to believe coup is underway amid unprecedented challenge to Mugabe

Tensions rose in Harare on Tuesday as armoured vehicles, military police and soldiers from Zimbabwe’s powerful military drove through the outskirts of the capital, a day after the head of the armed forces said he was prepared to “step in” to end a purge of supporters of sacked vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Witnesses in the city reported several lorries full of military personnel and at least six armoured vehicles on roads approaching the city in the late afternoon, though residents said there was no sign of troops in the centre of Harare, the airport, government broadcasters or the residence of president Robert Mugabe.

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