HARARE (AFP) - Zimbabwe police detained US and British diplomats Thursday in a dramatic confrontation at a roadblock following what the government described as a gathering at the home of an Opposition supporter. The convoy of three vehicles was initially stopped at a checkpoint in the Bindura region before making a getaway and then later pulled over again, US embassy officials said. "The police forced them (the diplomats) off the road and fortunately we had a good driver," US Ambassador to Zimbabwe James McGee told reporters. "They spiked our vehicle and slashed the tires. The military came in, war vets came in and they threatened to burn my people," he said, referring to hardline supporters of President Robert Mugabe who is currently in Rome. "They were finally all released although they badly beat up our local driver. Fortunately all of them are now back." The Harare government said the diplomats had been addressing a gathering at the home of an opposition party activist. "The British and American diplomats had gone to a house in Bindura where they addressed a gathering. There was commotion and police were called in," Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga told AFP. A spokesman at the US embassy in Harare said that five Americans, four Britons and a number of local staff had been detained in Thursday's incident. The White House warned the US would not forget the detention of US diplomats in Zimbabwe. The US state department said it would raise the issue at the United Nations and with the Zimbabwean delegation at a UN food summit in Rome. "Our delegation in Rome will seek out an appropriate member of the Zimbabwean member of the delegation to the UN conference on food security that is taking place in Rome," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. "And we intend to raise this issue today in the (UN) Security Council," McCormack told reporters in Washington. White House national security spokesman Gordon Johndroe called the attack "outrageous" and told reporters in Washington: "We are contacting the Zimbabwean authorities about the matter. It's completely unacceptable." British Foreign Secretary David Miliband condemned the detention of the diplomats as "a serious incident" despite the group being freed unharmed. "It was a serious incident that we have to take seriously," Miliband told reporters in London. "I think it gives us a window into the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans because this sort of intimidation is suffered daily, particularly by those who work with opposition groups." The Foreign Office has summoned Zimbabwe's top diplomat in London to explain what happened. Miliband said the Zimbabwean ambassador would be told that the world is continuing to watch Zimbabwe and that the safety of diplomatic staff was paramount.