News / Africa

11 Deaths in Nigeria Stampede

Officials in Nigeria say 11 people have been killed in a stampede at a election campaign rally for President Goodluck Jonathan in the southern Niger Delta region.

Police say thousands of supporters had crowded in and around a stadium in Port Harcourt Saturday to hear President Jonathan, who is from the region.  They say dozens of people were also injured in the stampede.

Witnesses say the stampede happened after police fired into the air, apparently to control the rush of people out of the stadium.

President Jonathan said he was shocked and saddened by the news.

Nigeria is preparing for elections in April.  President Jonathan, the ruling party's candidate, is widely expected to win the vote.  

Mr. Jonathan inherited the presidency in May, after the death of his predecessor, Umaru Yar'Adua.  At the time of his death, Mr. Yar'Adua was three years into what was expected to be an eight-year presidency.

The ruling party in oil-rich Nigeria has won every presidential election since the country returned to civilian rule in 1999.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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