Troops have been deployed on the streets of the Zimbabwe capital and have seized the state broadcaster in a growing political crisis.
Gunfire and explosions have been heard in the centre of Harare.
It comes just 24-hours after military chief General Constantino Chiwenga threatened to intervene to end a purge of his allies in President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party.
In a statement Zimbabwe’s military claimed it had taken action to target criminals and not to mount a military take over of the government The president they said was safe,
Due to the political uncertainty the United States and Britain have advised their citizens in Harare to stay indoors.
The current turmoil follows Mugabe’s sacking of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, amid a row over succession.
Mnangagwa had previously been seen as an heir to the president, but Mugabwe’s wife Grace is now the front-runner.