(BBC)- Zimbabwe crisis: The military has taken control in Zimbabwe but said President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980, was safe.
After seizing state TV, an army spokesman announced it was targeting people close to Mr Mugabe who had caused “social and economic suffering”.
The move came after Mr Mugabe sacked his deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in favour of his wife, Grace.
Heavy gun and artillery fire could be heard in northern parts of the capital Harare early on Wednesday.
A statement read out by a general on air denied it was a coup. There was no immediate word from the president himself.
Messages appeared on a Twitter account purportedly run by the ruling Zanu-PF party saying he had been detained. But there has been no confirmation by the army
Mr Mugabe, 93, has dominated the impoverished country’s political scene since independence from the UK.
South African President Jacob Zuma said he hoped events in Zimbabwe would not lead to “unconstitutional changes of government”.
Contributed by Dr Colin O Jarrett