Blast hits Zimbabwe presidential rally, President Mnangagwa unhurt

BREAKING: Reports of attempt on Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s life

Explosion rocks stadium where Zimbabwe's president was speaking

A blast that rocked a rally in which Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly escaped unscathed injured at least 41 people, including his two deputies, the health minister told a state Sunday paper.

Mr Mnangagwa had been speaking in Bulawayo ahead of July's historic election, the first since longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down. "He is at state house in Bulawayo", said Mnangagwa's spokesman George Charamba.

"In news just received Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri the Zanu- PF chairperson and political commissar Engelbert Rugeje were injured in the explosion", Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) said.

Charamba added: "VP Constantino Chiwenga had slight bruises on his face but he is fine".

"Several people were affected by the blast, and I have already been to visit them in the hospital", Mnangagwa wrote on his verified Facebook account, describing the attack as a "senseless act of violence".

THE number of people injured in the as yet unexplained Saturday explosion at Bulawayo's White City Stadium has risen to 49, police have revealed.

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The 75-year-old Mnangagwa and 40-year-old Chamisa, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change are the main contenders. "These are people who are hurting, who want to harm the president and they have access", one of the sources told Reuters, declining to be named.

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second-largest city and is traditionally an opposition stronghold.

"I am used to these attempts", Mnangagwa said in his first comments on the explosion.

Although Mnangagwa's leadership has seen a relatively freer environment in Zimbabwe, Masunungure warned acts targeting the Zanu-PF government could see a closing up of a relatively more liberalised society.

Past votes have been marked by violence and fraud, and the United States and others have said a credible vote is key to lifting worldwide sanctions.

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