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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tanzanians Clash Over Election

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania -- Five supporters of Zanzibar's main opposition party and four members of its security force were killed in election violence Tuesday, according to the opposition leader and a member of the security force.

Unrest across the Zanzibar archipelago, which is part of Tanzania but semiautonomous, came as the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi, or Revolutionary Party, was declared winner of weekend presidential and parliamentary elections that were marred by violence and allegations of rigging.

Seif Shariff Hamad of the main opposition Civic United Front, or CUF, said the five supporters died on the second island, Pemba. He had no details. A member of the government security force, known as the Force for Building the Economy, also had no details on the deaths of four of his colleagues on Pemba.

The deaths took place when police and opposition officials clashed on Pemba's main road near the village of Konde, according to witnesses contacted by telephone. Demonstrators reportedly set up roadblocks around Konde, cutting the island in half.

Police spokesman Mohamed Mhina said opposition supporters attacked a police station in Konde and wounded five policemen, three of them seriously. He said officers were holding some of the CUF supporters for questioning.

Earlier, police backed by troops beat opposition supporters at party headquarters on Pemba, according to witnesses who declined to be identified for fear of retribution.

The CUF had said earlier that members of the Zanzibar prison brigade killed one person at his Pemba home. It was unclear if that death was among the five reported by Hamad, the opposition leader.

On the main island of Unguja, opposition supporters began clashing with police in the early morning. There was a standoff at CUF headquarters, with police surrounding the building located along the narrow alleyways that make up the Stone Town neighborhood.

Thousands of opposition supporters, mostly young men, had engaged the police in running battles for the past two days in Stone Town and elsewhere on Unguja.

The socialist Chama Cha Mapinduzi, or CCM, has ruled the "spice islands" for more than 30 years. The CUF, which promises privatization and wholesale economic reform, claims it was robbed of victory by violence and fraud in elections in 1995 and 2000, and again accuses CCM of fraud this year.

Zanzibar's electoral chief Masauni Yussuf Massauni declared Tuesday that incumbent Amani Abeid Karume of the CCM won 53.2 percent of the votes. Hamad of CUF had 46.1 percent, according to the election official. The results mark the third successive close defeat for Hamad. The CCM was declared the winner of 30 seats and the CUF 19 in the 50-member House of Representatives. Results for one seat were nullified because of irregularities.

"We are not accepting these results," Hamad told journalists in an office filled with the smell of tear gas. Hamad, who had earlier claimed to have won the presidential vote, called for mass public protest nationwide but did not say when it should begin.

Two boats full of infantry troops left Tanzania's commercial capital of Dar es Salaam on Tuesday, headed to Zanzibar.

Police had stopped Hamad from driving to his headquarters, which they had been surrounding since dawn. As he walked through a ruling party area, he was heckled. But he was greeted with chants of "the president, the president" in a neighborhood of his supporters.

The National Democratic Institute, a U.S.-based election organization, said in a preliminary report Tuesday that while the administration of the election was a marked improvement over 2000, their team observed multiple voting, underage voting and illegal voting by military personnel.