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Zimbabwe Leader's Loyalists Make Surprise Break With Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe.

President Robert Mugabe.

Photographer: Jekesai Njikizana/AFP via Getty Images
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Harare, Zimbabwe (AP) -- Veterans of Zimbabwe's independence war made a significant break with President Robert Mugabe for the first time Thursday, calling him dictatorial, manipulative and egocentric.

The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association has been a pillar of support for the 92-year-old leader for decades, but it released a statement criticizing the man it had long been quick to defend. The veterans are known for unleashing violence on those opposing the government.