At least 11 killed after stampede in Nigerian presidential campaign

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PORT HARCOURT, NIGERIA: Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's presidential campaign rally on Saturday ended tragically after a stampede broke out, killing at least 11 people, local media reported on Sunday.

Officials confirmed the death of 11 people, 10 of them women, as well as 29 others injured who were receiving medical treatment in three different local hospitals, following the incident during Jonathan's Presidential Campaign Rally of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Liberation Stadium in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, Nigeria's the Nation reported.

On Sunday, President Jonathan directed a full investigation of the incident and canceled rallies scheduled for Borno and Yobe states on Sunday, as well as the Goodluck/Sambo campaign council, which was initially scheduled for Saturday evening.

According to Police Superintendent Dr. Rita Inoma-Abbey, the incident began at around 2:50 p.m. local time, when those coming in were pushing their way in while those exiting were pushing their way out.

"In the ensuing stampede, so many people fell down. The police mounted troop, PMF (Police Mobile Force) and other security agents contained the push, by closing the main gate to rescue the victims."

However, as investigations continue, some reports say a gunshot fired into the air by a police officer caused panic and the subsequent stampede.

(Copyright 2011 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. )

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