At least 10 people were killed and 85 others injured in a stampede during an election rally held by President Filipe Nyusi, police said on Thursday.
National Police spokesman Orlando Mudumane told dpa that the stampede broke out while the president addressed crowds inside a stadium in the north-eastern city of Nampula on Wednesday, ahead of the October 15 general elections.
Two of the injured were receiving intensive care, according to Mudumane.
The cause of the stampede remained unknown on Thursday, with the city’s police chief being suspended until the outcome of the investigation, said Mudumane.
“We ordered an inquiry into the tragedy and will provide more information soon,” he added.
The atmosphere in Mozambique has been tense in the run-up to the polls, with growing concerns about renewed violence.
The southern African nation is beset by sporadic violence between the ruling party, Frelimo and the main opposition party, the former rebel group Renamo.
The two groups fought against each other in a 15-year civil war that ended in 1992.
Mozambique will hold presidential, legislative and provincial elections on October 15 2019.
The date was unveiled amid negotiations on consolidating peace between the government and former rebels, the Mozambique National Resistance (Renamo).
Four presidential candidates and 26 parties started campaigning for the general election on Saturday, the first contest without historic Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama, and the first to elect provincial governors.
The four hoping to inhabit the Ponta Vermelha, official residence of the head of state are: the current President of the Republic and Frelimo leader, Filipe Nyusi, and the current leader of Renamo, Ossufo Momade.
The other two candidates are: the leader of the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM), Daviz Simango, and the candidate of the Extraparliamentary Action Party of the United Movement for Integral Salvation (AMUSI), Mario Albino.
There are 26 political formations competing for the legislatures and provinces, but the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo), Renamo and the MDM are believed to be the better prepared to withstand the harsh 45-day electoral campaign across the 11 constituencies of the vast national territory, plus the diaspora.