The Latest on Zimbabwe protests (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

Armed police and soldiers are breaking up groups of more than five people in Zimbabwe’s capital in a crackdown on protests over dramatic fuel price hikes.

Desperation for food has forced some people to venture out in Harare on the third day of protests over what is now the world’s most expensive gasoline. But virtually all shops are closed.

Police have fired tear gas after a crowd tried to overrun a shopping center that opened to sell bread. Soldiers with AK-47s took charge of the long line.

“This kind of life is unbearable, we have soldiers at fuel queues and now soldiers again are controlling the bread queue,” one man says. “Are we at war?”

Arrests and reported assaults continue as President Emmerson Mnangagwa is on an extended overseas trip trying to encourage foreign investment in the shattered economy.

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9:30 a.m.

Streets are deserted in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, Wednesday as a general strike continues for a third day to protest the government’s decision to more than double the price of fuel.

Lawyers for activist Evan Mawarire say armed police are surrounding his house in Harare. Mawarire in 2016 organized the ThisFlag campaign that sparked a string of nationwide anti-government protests.

Zimbabwe’s largest telecoms company, Econet, has sent text messages to customers saying it has been forced by the government to shut down internet service. “The matter is beyond our control,” said the statement.

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