KUWAIT, Nov 15 (KUNA) -- Zimbabwe's military has read out a statement after taking over the national broadcaster, ZBC, saying it has taken action to "target criminals".
However, it said this was not "a military takeover of government" and President Robert Mugabe was safe, according to reports broadcast by the BBC early on Wednesday.
Heavy gunfire and artillery were heard in northern suburbs of the capital, Harare, early on Wednesday.
Zimbabwe's envoy to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, dismissed talk of a coup, saying the government was "intact".
The statement read out by Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo came hours after soldiers overran the headquarters of ZBC. He said: "We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president... and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed."
The statement added: "We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes... that are causing social and economic suffering in the country. As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy."
Alex Magaisa, former adviser to Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, told the BBC he believes the military's claim that they haven't carried out a coup is untrue.
"They have decided not to call it a coup because they know that a coup does not sell, it will be condemned," he said.
"But as far as authority is concerned it seems very clear that President Mugabe is now just a president in name and authority is now residing in the military."
The latest events came hours after Zimbabwe's ruling party accused the country's army chief of "treasonable conduct" after he warned of possible military intervention.
General Constantino Chiwenga had challenged 93-year-old President Mugabe after he sacked the vice-president. (end)