Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe as President Robert Mugabe comes under pressure over how his government has handled the economy. Street protests have become frequent in the southern African country, which also faces massive unemployment and accusations of corruption.

On 3 August hundreds of people marched on the streets of Harare, protesting against government plans to introduce bond notes that would be used alongside the US dollar. Zimbabwe abandoned its currency in 2009 following hyperinflation, adopting a multi-currency system dominated by the dollar.

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Protesters hold banners and crosses during a march against the introduction of new bond notes and youth unemployment in HarareWilfred Kajese/ AFP

Marchers carried wooden crosses, singing and chanting slogans against alleged corruption, human rights abuses and economic decline. Some wore the national flag, which has become a symbol of anti-government sentiment in recent months.

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A man holding a cross, tears a worthless $1,000,000 note during a protest against government plans to introduce bond notes in HarareZinyange Auntony/ AFP
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A man wearing a hat decorated with worthless notes during a protest against government plans to introduce bond notes in HarareZinyange Auntony/ AFP
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Women beat pots as they demonstrate in front of the City Hall in Bulawayo, symbolising a nation facing starvation and economic hardshipsZinyange Auntony/ AFP

Baton-wielding police moved in as hundreds of activists gathered outside the finance minister's office. The police beat three reporters, including a BBC journalist, and broke his camera. Some protesters threw rocks at the police. Mugabe, aged 92, and in power since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980, said people unhappy with the situation in the country should leave.

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A man reacts as anti-riot police look on after they used batons to break up a peaceful march during the protestPhilimon Bulawayo/ Reuters
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Protesters hold worthless notes during the marchWilfred Kajese/ AFP
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A man hold placards during a protest against President Robert Mugabe government's handling of the economy in HararePhilimon Bulawayo/ Reuters
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A woman beats a pot during a demonstration in front of the City Hall in BulawayoZinyange Auntony/ AFP
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A man says what he feelsPhilimon Bulawayo/ Reuters
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People burn notes which are deemed worthlessWilfred Kajese/ AFP
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Demonstrators who had planned to hand in a petition at the finance ministry to demand the bond notes not be issued hold banners and shout in front of police officers in HarareWilfred Kajese/ AFP
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Demonstrators help a woman after she inhales tear gas during the protest in HarareWilfred Kajese/ AFP
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Anti-riot police are seen through a broken car window after they clashe with protesters in HararePhilimon Bulawayo/ Reuters
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A man protests over the state of the economyWilfred Kajese/ AFP
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Police officers clash with demonstrators who had planned to hand in a petition at the finance ministry to demand the bond notes not be issued in HarareWilfred Kajese/ AFP
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People help a child after he inhales tear gas fired by police to break up a protest by several hundred demonstrators in Harare Zinyange Auntony/ AFP
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Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe speaks at a rally in Harare as he launched an attack on anti-government activists, foreign embassies and disaffected war veterans as he sought to assert his grip on power following recent protestsWilfred Kajese/ AFP
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People hold placards during a protest against President Robert Mugabe government's handling of the economy in HararePhilimon Bulawayo/ Reuters
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People hold crosses and banners during a protest against the introduction of new bond notes and youth unemployement in HarareWilfred Kajese/ AFP