Leading Zimbabwean activist, Evan Mawarire was detained by police on Wednesday when he was taken from his house in a widening crackdown after anti-government protests.

The nationwide protests were triggered by the government announcing at the weekend that fuel would more than double in price as the country’s economic crisis deepens.

Police had been at Mawarire’s property for more than two hours before he was driven away in a truck.

“Armed police surrounded his residence this morning and he has been picked up. We don’t know for what purpose,” Teldah Mawarire, his sister, told AFP.

“I was directly in contact with him until he was taken and he could no longer be online. We are very concerned.”

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Security forces have shot dead at least five people and wounded 25 others during the crackdown since Monday’s protests, according to Human Rights Watch.

“Those responsible for using unlawful lethal force should be promptly investigated and held accountable,” Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa director at HRW, said in a statement.

HRW said security forces responded with live ammunition, rubber bullets and teargas on Monday after protesters burned a police station, barricaded roads with large rocks, and looted shops in Harare, Kadoma and Bulawayo cities.

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