HARARE, ZIMBABWE (AP).- A museum official says a bush fire has destroyed the historic site of the encampment of 19th Century warrior King Lobengula in western Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's National Museums and Monuments director Godfrey Mahachi says strong winds swept the fire through the five acre (two hectare) national heritage site, destroying all eight beehive hut structures, including the king's palace, and a palisade of wooden fortifications.
Lobengula's tribal capital was rebuilt as a symbolic national monument near the second city of Bulawayo in 1993 and became a center of academic and historical studies.
Mahachi said the fire began late Monday and reduced the site to ashes. He said Thursday that officials will meet soon to plan reconstruction.
Lobengula left the encampment to regroup his "induna" warriors in 1881 as colonial forces advanced toward it.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.