HARARE, Zimbabwe - The U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe was detained for a half hour after allegedly trespassing in a restricted area near President Robert Mugabe's official residence, the government said Thursday.
Zimbabwe officials said they sent a formal letter of protest to the U.S. Embassy Thursday, complaining about the actions of Ambassador Christopher Dell.
State radio said that Dell was "trying to provoke an unwarranted diplomatic incident" by approaching the restricted security area in Harare's National Botanical Gardens. It said the viewing area was guarded by armed troops.
Dell was held for 30 minutes Monday night and then released, according to the government statement. News of the incident didn't emerge until the government statement Thursday.
The ambassador and other American envoys couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
The episode marks a new low in U.S.-Zimbabwe relations, soured by American charges that Mugabe's authoritarian government is a serious violator of human rights...
Mugabe seems to be taking lessons from Manual Noreiga...