Stampede at political rally leaves 1 dead, 37 injured in western Rwanda

Stampede at political rally leaves 1 dead, 37 injured in western Rwanda

Rwandan President Paul Kagame waves during presidential campaign in Rwanda

KIGALI, Rwanda | Xinhua | One person was killed and 37 others injured in a stampede at a political rally Sunday in western Rwanda, the government has said.

The stampede occurred when people tried to exit from a venue where President Paul Kagame, the candidate for the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front, addressed supporters in Gisa, Rubavu District, Western Province, said the Ministry of Local Government in a statement Sunday.

“A team of health workers at the site did their best to care for the injured but unfortunately one person died and 37 were injured,” the statement said.

Many of the injured were taken to nearby Gisenyi Hospital, but four critically injured ones were transferred to the main hospital in the capital, Kigali.

The ministry urged candidates’ supporters to always abide by stipulated guidelines to ensure safety for all.

Campaigning started Saturday in Rwanda ahead of the July 15 presidential and legislative elections, with about 9.5 million Rwandans eligible to vote.

Kagame is in the race with two others: Frank Habineza of the opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and Philippe Mpayimana, an independent candidate. ■

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