Zimbabwe blast rocks stadium in apparent assassination attempt on President

Zimbabwe's president Mnangagwa survives assassination attempt at rally in Harare

Zimbabwe's president Mnangagwa survives assassination attempt at rally in Harare

Opposition leader Chamisa expressed sympathy for the victims of the blast and said no stone should be left unturned in the police investigation.

Zimbabwe's presidential spokesman is ruling out a state of emergency after an explosion at the president's campaign rally on Saturday that state media has called an assassination attempt.

Mnangagwa has said the blast would not stop the election, which is being monitored by foreign observers for the first time since 2002.

"Egypt expresses its relief at the survival of President Mnangagwa and the failure of the attempt, wishing the injured a speedy recovery", the statement said.

Twenty-three candidates - the highest number in the country's history - will contest the presidential race.

Mnangagwa adopted most of Mugabe's security and bureaucratic system, fearing a complete overhaul, which the military had sought, could cause instability in government and cost him votes. He has openly joked about them at rallies.

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The country's two vice presidents were among the injured, the state-run newspaper The Herald reported. "Until the investigators pronounce themselves and present the evidence for arrest and prosecution, no one should ascribe motive or blame". The broadcaster also showed footage of a jovial Mnangagwa walking around the state house gardens in Bulawayo.

Mnangagwa even pledged that the attack would not derail what has been a largely peaceful election campaign so far, adding elections would go ahead on July 30 as scheduled. He added: "I can assure you these are my normal enemies".

The main competition will be between Mnangagwa and the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change's leader, 40-year-old Nelson Chamisa.

Previous elections in Zimbabwe had been marred by electoral fraud, intimidation and violence, including the killing of scores of opposition supporters in 2008.

FILE PHOTO: Zimbabwe's vice president Constantino Chiwenga is escorted from the stage after an explosion during a rally by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe June 23, 2018.

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