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At least 10 dead, scores injured in Yemen crush

Written by: Staff

IBB, Yemen, Sep 12 (Reuters) At least 10 people were killed and more than 50 injured in a stampede today in a Yemeni stadium where President Ali Abdullah Saleh was holding a pre-election rally in the southern province of Ibb.

Witnesses counted at least 10 bodies lying on the stadium grounds as well as scores of unconscious people.

However, the official news agency Saba said at least five people were killed and some 50 injured in the crush. Ambulances and police cars could be seen rushing the injured to hospital.

The stadium was very crowded, with people standing on the ground as well as the stands. The stampede happened after the president left and people rushed to get out of the stadium.

Some 150,000 people were inside the building and an even larger number had thronged the streets surrounding it.

Ibb, which is both the name of the town and the province, is about 170 km south of the capital Sanaa.

Yemen is due to hold presidential and local council elections on September 20. Saleh, the poor country's long-serving president and the front-runner in the poll, is touring Yemeni provinces to drum up support for his campaign.

Previous elections have been marred by shootings between members of rival parties in Yemen, where many people carry arms, but stampedes are unusual.

So far, at least eight people have been killed in the run-up to the vote which five candidates, including Saleh, are contesting.


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