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WORLD : Zambia Riots Escalate; 20 Die

FROM TIMES WIRE SERVICES

Riots against increases in food prices and Zambia’s one-party government spread from Lusaka to smaller cities today, and troops herded protesters in one town into a sports stadium and held them at gunpoint.

Hospital officials said five people died today, raising the toll to at least 20 in the worst rioting in Zambia’s history. Health officials conceded that there could have been many more fatalities in barricaded suburbs and shanties without transport or telephones.

On the third day of protests and looting, the government extended 6 p.m.-6 a.m. curfew to 24 hours.

Civilian vigilantes patrolled the streets carrying automatic rifles, military helicopters flew low overhead and suburban storekeepers fired volleys of bullets to defend their wares, wounding an unknown number of looters.

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