11 dead in Nigeria election rally stampede

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 13, 2011 20:09

 
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LAGOS, Nigeria — A stampede at a political rally killed 11 people and injured dozens more as Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan spoke, highlighting the insecurity in Africa's most populous nation as it prepares for national elections in April.

Authorities in this volatile West African giant often have little training in crowd control, and militants already have attacked one event attended by the president in recent months. Western nations hope Nigeria's elections will be calm: The country is a top supplier of easily refined crude oil to the US.

As Jonathan began his speech Saturday at the soccer stadium in Port Harcourt, some attendees tried to leave to beat the traffic out of the stadium, while others pushed their way inside to hear his speech, said Ibim Semenitari, a Rivers state government spokeswoman.

Eleven people died in the crush, Rivers state police spokeswoman Rita Inoma-Abbey said. Semenitari said at least 46 others had sought treatment at hospitals.

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