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LATEST: Mnangagwa says bomb blast just inches away from him, but ‘it’s not my time’

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By Associated Press


PRESIDENT says the explosive device in an attack on his campaign rally went off a “few inches away from me, but it is not my time.”

Mnangagwa told state broadcaster ZBC that there have been “so many” attempts on his life in the past and that he is used to them.

He adds that “I can assure you these are my normal enemies”.

Police are investigating the explosion that occurred seconds after Mnangagwa addressed a stadium crowd in Bulawayo and stepped into a VIP tent just off the stage.

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5:55 p.m.

The president says he has visited in the hospital “several” people hurt in an attack on his campaign rally that state media call an assassination attempt.

He called on the country for unity despite political differences after “this senseless act of violence.”

Mnangagwa says that “we will not allow this cowardly act to get in our way as we move towards elections.”

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5:35 p.m.

The United States is condemning the attack on Mnangagwa, which state media has called an assassination attempt.

The U.S. Embassy says on Twitter that “political violence in any form is unacceptable” and contrary to the progress needed to move the country forward and “take its place on the global stage.”

The British Embassy has tweeted a similar statement.

State media says President Emmerson Mnangagwa was not hurt but one of the country’s vice presidents had a leg injury.

Zimbabwe faces its first election without longtime leader Robert Mugabe on July 30.