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[Published: Sunday July 05 2009]

Zimbabwe army 'to go from mines'

Harare, 05 July-(ANA)-Zimbabwe's government has agreed to withdraw soldiers from diamond mining fields amid criticism over human rights abuses, state-run media reports.

It quoted the deputy mines minister in the unity government as saying soldiers would be withdrawn "in phases".

Troops deployed to the Marange diamond fields last year after disputed polls.

The army says it was to prevent illegal mining, but rights groups accuse them of involvement in forced labour and an alleged massacre of diamond diggers.

A team from the Kimberley Process - the organisation which aims to stop the use of diamonds to fund conflict - is currently in Zimbabwe investigating the allegations of abuse. (ANA)

FA/ANA/05 July 2009---

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