Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:  Zimbabwe’s military took control of the country and its longtime leader President Robert Mugabe early Wednesday, capping a political showdown over Mugabe’s apparent attempts to install his wife as successor.

A televised announcement after tanks and troops rolled into the capital, Harare, insisted it was “not a military takeover.”

Despite the assurances, the events bore all the hallmarks of a coup, with military vehicles stationed around the city, the army taking over the television station and a uniformed general issuing a statement.

The move by army Gen. Constantino Chiwenga came as the struggle over who will succeed the country’s increasingly frail 93-year-old leader came to a head. Mugabe has ruled since he led the country to independence from white minority rule in 1980.

“We wish to make it abundantly clear that this is not a military takeover,” said the statement read by Maj. Gen. Sibusiso Moyo. “We are only targeting criminals…

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