10 killed in blasts at Nigerias ruling party rally

Abuja: At least 10 people were killed and 21 others wounded when explosives were hauled into the venue of Nigeria`s ruling People`s Democratic Party rally for the governor of the Niger state.

Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu was addressing the rally in Niger`s senatorial zone of Suleja when some unidentified persons threw hand held explosives into the crowd causing twin explosions.

An eyewitness told PTI that the first bomb was thrown over the fence towards the end of the event while another one went off at the exact point where the vehicles conveying the governor and his entourage were parked before they left the venue.

According to the eyewitness, the explosives thrown by men in a white bus killed at least 10 people mostly members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and members of the Federal Road Safety Corps.

"Others are unconscious and have been taken to the General Hospital while some who have broken limbs have been taken to the Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital for treatment," she added.

Governor`s spokesman Bala Ibrahim Abdulkadir said the police was on top of the situation and the government is waiting to be briefed by the police.

Police spokesman Richard Oguche said the investigation has started.

"Bodies of those who died were deposited at the Suleja General Hospital mortuary," he said.

Politicians have started intense campaigns ahead of the elections scheduled for April but bombings have become common ahead of the polls.

Last December, two explosions disrupted the rally of a governorship candidate of the PDP, Senator Beinmo Rufus-Spiff in southern state of Bayelsa wounding several persons.

The oil-rich African country`s president Goodluck Jonathan is standing for the election but faces other candidates like former head of state General Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change and former anti-graft boss Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria.