The violence that has been the major blot on the first year of black rule in Zimbabwe struck Salisbury last night when two whites were killed in their homes as the nation celebrated its independence anniversary.
Police identified the dead men as Kenneth Wiltman and David Evans. A police spokesman said Wiltman and his wife were watching television about the time Prime Minister Robert Mugabe made a nationwide address in which he deplored the violence and reiterated his call for reconciliation. A black gunman entered the house, shot Wiltman and attacked his wife, who managed to escape, police said.
Evans was found stabbed to death in his home a few miles away in a separate incident. No arrests have been made and it is not known whether race was a factor in either incident.
About 20 whites have been slain in the country since independence, but murders in mainly white areas of Salisbury have been rare. Most of the victims in the last year have been blacks killed in tribal violence in the aftermath of the seven-year guerrilla war.
About 400 blacks are known to have been killed, mainly in two clashes in the Bulawayo area in the southwest. During the peak of the war in 1979, about that many people were killed each week.