Zimbabwe blast rocks stadium in apparent assassination attempt on President

Posted at 2:26 PM, Jun 23, 2018

Zimbabwe's government is calling an explosion Saturday an assassination attempt on President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was holding a campaign rally at a stadium.

The President escaped injuries, but others were injured and hospitalized. The blast occurred at White City Stadium in Bulawayo.

"Investigations are underway and more details will be given to the public," presidential spokesman George Charamba said, according to the state-run newspaper The Herald.

"There have been multiple attempts on the President's life over the past five years."

The country's two vice presidents were among at least eight people injured, The Herald reported. Kembo Mohadi suffered leg injuries, and Constantino Chiwenga had slight facial bruises, state media said.

Other injured officials included Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, minister of water, environment and climate, and Engelbert Rugeje, party secretary of the ruling ZANU-PF.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. said three of its crew members were hurt and taken to Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo

The US Embassy in Harare condemned the attack.

"Political violence in any form is unacceptable & contrary (to the) positive progress required (to) move Zim forward as it seeks (to) take its place on the global stage," the embassy said on Twitter. "Our thoughts & prayers go out (to the) victims & their families."

Next month's presidential electionswill be the first since the country's military forced Robert Mugabe out of office in an apparent coup in November.