Provincial police chief suspended after election rally tragedy


The provincial chief of police in Nampula has been suspended from his post after at least 16 people were killed, and more than 100 people hospitalised, in a stampede at an election rally held by President Filipe Nyusi, according to Mediafax.

The head of the police force, Bernardino Rafael, has also ordered an inquiry into the tragedy, TV station Miramar reported. Frelimo put the death toll at 10, and said 85 were injured, in comments made to state news agency AIM.

A journalist who attended the rally told Zitamar that the chaos was due to a lack of coordination between the police and Nyusi’s Presidential guard, known as the Casa Militar, in controlling crowds who were trying to see Nyusi as he left the 25 de Junho square in the city of Nampula where the rally was taking place.

Journalists filming and photographing the events were also assaulted by Frelimo supporters, and forced to delete their images. Eufrasio Gilberto, a cameraman for TV Haq, was threatened with a gun and forced to hand over his camera, and Leonardo Gimo of TV Sucesso was forced to delete all his pictures, according to the Mozambique Political Process Bulletin.

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