Explosion at Emmerson Mnangagwa election rally

Medics attend to people injured in an explosion during a rally by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Bulawayo

"This is now a police issue, but the president is safe at Bulawayo State House", spokesperson George Charamba told Reuters news agency.

Footage from the blast at White City Stadium appears to show Mr Mnangagwa leaving the stage after addressing supporters when a device went off.

Bulawayo is Zimbabwe's second-largest city and is traditionally an opposition stronghold.

Mnangagwa has been accused of involvement in the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s that claimed the lives of around 20,000 regime opponents in the country's southwest where Bulawayo is situated.

In the past, the President has himself openly joked about the attempts, including during his campaigning. Zanu-PF is led by Mnangagwa, a former vice-president known as "the Crocodile", who took power when Mugabe was ousted.

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Two aides died on the spot and several people were injured including political commissar Rugeje. Seconds after they exit, there's an explosion, knocking people over and spewing smoke and debris into the crowd.

Mnangagwa says that "we will not allow this cowardly act to get in our way as we move towards elections".

Mnangagwa has been accused of involvement in the Gukurahundi massacres of the 1980s that claimed the lives of around 20,000 regime opponents in the country's southwest where Bulawayo is situated. Violence must have no place in our politics'.

The July 30 election will be the first without Mr Mugabe in the southern African nation since independence in 1980. Mnangagwa, a former justice and defense minister who served for decades as Mugabe's enforcer, has invited Western election observers for the first time in nearly two decades.

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