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Wildlife rangers in Zimbabwe kill 3 suspected poachers

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Officials in Zimbabwe say wildlife park rangers have killed three suspected poachers in the past two days as the country battles increased targeting of vulnerable animals.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said Thursday that rangers fatally shot a poacher in Hurungwe safari area on Wednesday. The parks agency says two poachers were killed on Tuesday in Hwange National Park, whose large elephant population has been targeted.

Caroline Washaya-Moyo, a spokeswoman for the parks agency, says poachers and rangers exchanged gunfire in both cases.

Washaya-Moyo says 443 poachers were arrested last year, up from 378 in 2015. She says that of the 2016 arrests, 57 people were convicted and sentenced to a total of 513 years in jail.

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