Protesters gather during a demonstration over the hike in fuel prices in Harare, Zimbabwe, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. A Zimbabwean military helicopter on Tuesday fired tear gas at demonstrators blocking a road and burning tires in the capital on a second day of deadly protests after the government more than doubled the price of fuel in the economically shattered country. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Harare - Three people were shot dead and many were injured when Zimbabwean security forces cracked down on protests, the main opposition MDC party said Tuesday.

"The information we have received is that two people were shot dead in Chitungwiza (on the outskirts of Harare) and one person in Kadoma (town)," MDC spokesman Jacob Mafume told AFP.

"This is needless loss of lives. Many have been injured, some of them seriously."

He gave no further details.

The streets of the capital Harare were deserted on Tuesday a day after demonstrations when public anger erupted over Zimbabwe's worsening economic crisis.

Most shops remained closed and minibus taxis that usually transport workers from the suburbs to the city centre were not running.

The government more than doubled petrol prices at the weekend after months of shortages when drivers have had to queue for hours to fill up.

Essentials such as bread and medicines have also been scarce.

On Monday, the police dispersed hundreds of protesters who burnt tyres, erected barricades and looted businesses on the first day of a three-day general strike.

Security Minister Owen Ncube said the security action had entailed "loss of life," without giving figures.

AFP