Seven hurt in Rwanda grenade blast

At least seven people were wounded after a grenade exploded near a bus station in Rwanda’s capital today, according to local police.

At least seven people were wounded after a grenade exploded near a bus station in Rwanda’s capital today, according to local police.

The attack comes two days after the country’s presidential election, with provisional results showing president Paul Kagame was re-elected with 93% of the vote, with a turnout of 97%.

Mr Kagame has overseen strong economic growth in Rwanda but has been criticised for crackdowns on dissent and opposition groups. Opposition parties were banned from the vote and some Rwandans said they were forced to cast ballots for him.

Police spokesman Eric Kayiranga said seven people were taken to hospital for injuries after the blast, with two people seriously hurt.

Witnesses earlier had estimated around 20 people were wounded.

At the scene of the blast, there were bloodstains on the ground and a motorbike lay in the street.

Rwanda has seen several grenade attacks this year, including one in May and at least two in February. Authorities previously blamed the February attacks on a dissident Rwandan general.

That general, former army chief Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, was shot and wounded outside his South African home last month, with his wife blaming Mr Kagame.

Rwanda’s most prominent opposition politician, Victoire Ingabire, has said that she fears violence could again break out in Rwanda because of Mr Kagame’s approach to handling ethnic Hutus. Ms Ingabire was arrested earlier this year on charges of genocide ideology and was not allowed to run in Monday’s election.

More than 500,000 Rwandans, mostly ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were killed in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Mr Kagame, an ethnic Tutsi, has tried to downplay the role of ethnicity in post-genocide Rwanda, and people in the country rarely refer to themselves as Hutu or Tutsi and can face charges for speaking publicly about ethnicity.

Human rights groups and other critics also had decried the arrest of several opposition figures in the lead-up to Monday’s election, and noted that several others were killed or attacked under suspicious circumstances. The Rwandan government has denied any involvement in those attacks.

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