10 Dead Following Explosion, Stampede at Rally in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia -- An explosion and stampede killed at least 10 people at a soccer stadium in Somalia's capital on Tuesday, moments after the prime minister had addressed hundreds of people at a rally, government officials and witnesses said.
Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi was unhurt in the blast, which sent panicked supporters rushing out of the stadium. Sixty people were injured.
It was not immediately clear whether most of the casualties were from the blast or the stampede that followed.
Gedi said the explosion was an accident, but investigators said they were still looking into the cause. A security official said a militiaman guarding Gedi had detonated one of his grenades.
Gedi flew to Mogadishu on Friday for the first time since his appointment last year, seeking to end a rift in his government over the location of a future capital and the role of U.N. peacekeepers in the Horn of Africa country, where security fears have kept the government in exile.
Gedi pledged that the stadium incident would "not deter us and the international community from continuing our common endeavor to relocating the government back to Somalia."
The government, which has sat in Kenya since it was formed in 2004, is opposed by Islamic extremists and some of Somalia's dozens of warlords. Somalia has been without a central government since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre, then turned their weapons on one another.
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