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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 September 2006, 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK
Deadly stampede at Yemeni rally
President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaking in Ibb
President Saleh was addressing a huge crowd in Ibb
More than 42 people have been killed and dozens more injured in a stampede at an election campaign rally for the Yemeni president, officials say.

Ali Abdullah Saleh was speaking at a stadium in the southern province of Ibb, 170km (106 miles) south of Sanaa.

The stampede happened at the end of the rally as people were leaving the arena.

Some 300,000 supporters were crowded into the stadium and surrounding roads. Many of the casualties were teenagers brought by bus from local schools.

Overcrowding and a lack of clearly marked exit signs contributed to the stampede, said officials quoted by Associated Press.

Some people were leaving the stadium while others were trying to get in, the officials said.

Yemen map
Both President Saleh and opposition groups offered condolences to the families of the victims.

Yemen is due to hold presidential and local council elections on 20 September.

Mr Saleh is on a campaign tour of the country as he seeks a third seven-year term.

The president has led Yemen since the unification of North and South Yemen in 1990. Before that, he was president of North Yemen for 12 years.

Government officials, quoted by Reuters news agency, said that on Monday at least four people were killed and 10 injured in another stampede at a similar election rally in Taiz province, 250 km (155 miles) south-west of the capital Sanaa.

On 25 August, three people were killed in clashes between supporters of the governing General People's Congress and the Islamist opposition group, Islah in the Jawf province, 70km (45 miles) north of the capital, Sanaa.

Eight others were reported to have been injured in the clashes.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Hear what happened in the arena



SEE ALSO
Yemen opposition candidate named
30 Jun 06 |  Middle East
Yemeni president to stand again
24 Jun 06 |  Europe
Deadlock over Yemeni succession
22 Jun 06 |  Europe
Yemen ruling party set for win
30 Apr 03 |  Middle East
Country profile: Yemen
28 Apr 06 |  Country profiles

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